An open letter has been penned to county council bosses asking for a fair deal for fire services in Corby following news that one of the town’s fire engines could be replaced with a high-tech Cobra intervention vehicle.
MP Andy Sawford and Corby Council leader Tom Beattie have published the strongly-worded joint letter in a bid to increase pressure on the county council to drop its plans to cut one of the town’s appliances.
In their letter, Cllr Beattie and Mr Sawford condemn the plans and refer to suggestions that Corby Council help fund a second fire engine as an “outrage”, as they say it would amount to Corby residents paying twice for the same service.
In their letter, addressed to county council leader Jim Harker, Cllr Beattie and Andy Sawford say: “We are writing to you to express in the strongest terms our opposition to your proposal to cut fire services at Corby.
“Corby’s two fire engines serve the town and surrounding area and provide resilience for the north of the county.
“The county council has a statutory responsibility to provide adequate fire cover for the area and all the evidence from professionals is that the proposed cuts would amount to a serious reduction in services, putting the safety of the public and fire service personnel at risk.
“We are extremely disappointed that the county council has targeted Corby for cuts.
“No other area faces cuts and we would like to know why Corby has been singled out. We are outraged by the suggestion that Corby borough should pay twice for fire services.
“How can you possibly justify taking council tax from Corby residents while refusing to fund a service in this borough that you provide everywhere else in the county?”
Northamptonshire County Council says the new Cobra vehicle, which will replace one of the two fire engines, will “enhance and not compromise” the fire cover in Corby.
Cobra vehicles use the latest firefighting technology and are manned by two crew members.
Critics of the system say existing fire engines have the same capabilities and are more flexible.