Fire service ‘£500k short’ - and could take decades to get fair share

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire:, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire:, on Twitter @standardboston

Fire crews in Lincolnshire are getting more than half a million less than they are owed – and might not be properly funded for decades.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue should be due an extra £568,000 according to Government figures.

The fire service was spared during the last round of Government cuts, but may not escape unharmed next time, making it even further behind.

Chief fire officer Dave Ramscar told The Standard that crews were coping without the money they are owed but said it was ‘a moot point’ to discuss what the money could be spent on, adding that funding had always been an issue in rural areas such as Lincolnshire.

He added: “The consultation suggested Lincolnshire should get an extra £568,000 per year. However, the timescale over which this balancing out would occur is not known, and could be decades rather than years.

“And, even with this additional funding we’d still be behind urban areas.”

He went on to say: “Although the amount suggested by the consultation sounds a lot, it’s not enough to fund any significant improvements.

“However, any additional funding is always welcome, and it could be put towards things like additional training.”

A decision by Lincolnshire County Council to protect fire funding from cuts has meant services have been largely unaffected, the chief officer said.
He added: “Thanks to the decision by councillors to protect our budget, Lincolnshire can maintain a first-class fire service, despite receiving less than its fair share. In fact, we’ve been able to improve the service across the county. In Boston we have round-the-clock full-time firefighters, an increase in training time for on-call firefighters and an improved fleet.”