West Midlands Fire Service Officials held a consultation session this evening Thursday 1st September in Halesowen, to inform the people of Halesowen about the 25% cuts that they need to make this year, and a further 25 % cuts each year for the next 4 years.
In 2008 the same officials during a Labour government improved the service by merging Halesowen and Cradley Heath Firestations but they were keeping the two pumps, however since then we have had a change of Government and now these further cuts must be implemented, and it has been discussed tonight that the service will be cut from two pumps to one which will inevitably put peoples lives at risk.
The people of Halesowen were very vocal and the British National Party representative Robert Weale stood up and told the people that the Fire officials were only doing what they had been told to do by their masters in Government and it was wrong to attack them for making cuts in the Emergency services when the government are ring fencing budgets like Foreign Aid, he went on to say that he didn't have a bleeding heart and couldn't care less what happens in other countries but that he was terribly concerned for the lives of the people of this one, this got a cheer and a round of applause.
The local Councilor Ken Turner (Cons) got up and came out with a rather boring speech which consisted of a lot of figures and percentages, he was heckled and I was quite shocked when he turned around and shouted at his own constituents, this didn't go down too well and he was rebuked by further speakers for his attitude and behavior. The Tory MP James Morris then reiterated that he was against the cutting of the pumps from two to one and would be taking it up with the Minister responsible for the Emergency Services, good luck to him on that one, he also was told to sit down by a few rather vocal elderly ladies, all in all a very informative evening, and a very good opportunity to gauge the feelings of the community.