Political column: Lost time means lost lives

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Mansfield Labour Leader Coun Martin Lee on why we need to fight planned cuts to the fire service to keep our communities safe...

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently consulting on their proposals for making financial savings across the county.

The proposals are extremely worrying for our area. They include the closure of Warsop fire station and the removal of the retained fire engine crewed by on-call firefighters from Mansfield Fire Station.

The Nottinghamshire Fire Brigade Union quite rightly oppose these cuts explaining that if there was a serious house fire with people trapped inside, three fire engines would need to be mobilised.

With just one fire engine at Mansfield they would have to wait for an engine from Ashfield and Edwinstowe.

In emergencies like that, lost time means lost lives.

Warsop covers a large area and at present the fire engine in its own station is ideally placed to deal with emergencies the town itself and the outlying villages.

Labour Warsop councillors are leading a campaign to prevent the closure.

It was their work and the support of the people that kept the station open when closure was proposed in 2010.

The Fire Service has worked hard to reduce the risks of fires and accidents by focussing on preventative steps in homes and in business premises.

The number of emergency calls to the service has declined over the years.

But risks will never be eliminated. For the safety of our communities we must keep our services local.

Labour councillors will be fighting these cuts in frontline services but we need your help.

Please respond by taking part in the consultation process.

You can have your say by logging on to the consultation at www.notts-fire.gov.uk or by requesting a copy on 0115 9670880.

Labour Warsop councillors have a great record of fighting to keep services open in their parish.

I met with Councillors Crawford, Kerr and Wetton on Saturday to discuss the future of Meden Baths and how we can secure its future.

It is four years since the Mayor and his Portfolio Holder first proposed closing the swimming pool.

Thankfully due to the hard work of Labour councillors and the excellent research and campaigning done by the community group SOS, the pool was saved.

Labour argued for, and secured further financial support for the centre during budget setting.

Usage since then has increased. The reality is however that due to under investment over the last decade the centre is not in a good state of repair.

We are therefore looking at options for the building of a new facility next to the current site.

This involves negotiations with the County Council and Meden Academy.

This is a very high priority for Labour councillors. Warsop has a higher than average number of people with health problems. Disposable incomes are also on average lower than other areas.

The costs of travel to other leisure facilities in our district prevent many in Warsop accessing

them. Quality sports facilities are vital to drive the Council’s health and well-being agenda.

Labour is determined to win the battle ahead for the people of Warsop.

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