Hundreds march in mass protest over plans to axe Wrexham's fire crew

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Leader Live)

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets this weekend to show their support for Wrexham’s under-threat fire crew.

Controversial plans by North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority to cut one of Wrexham’s full-time fire engines have been heavily criticised by campaigners, who have held protests to voice their disapproval.

The latest march was held in Wrexham town centre to coincide with Bonfire Night when campaigners took to the streets and marched through Queen’s Square to rally support for their cause.

About 500 people joined the march to protest against the plans with the march through Wrexham led by the Cambria band and members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The protesters are concerned about the removal of one of Wrexham’s two fire engines due to a spate of arson attacks in the town over the past 18 months.

Campaigner Marc Jones said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came out in the cold weather to support the campaign. It was a very powerful message and I know the firefighters present were very grateful for the community’s backing.

“Both Grant Mayos and Cerith Griffiths of the FBU spoke passionately about the need to maintain this service. People joined the march because they can see for themselves how important the fire service is to our community – many have first-hand experience of both fire engines coming out to attend fires or other incidents.

“It makes no sense to get rid of this pump now when we have a projected population increase of up to 20 per cent, a super-prison opening in May 2017 and 43 per cent of all North Wales arsons.

“I also made it clear that we should reject any attempt to play urban areas such as Wrexham against rural areas. Councillors on the Fire Authority who think that getting rid of this fire engine will safeguard rural retained stations are living in cloud cuckoo-land.

“The second crew provides much needed cover for many rural stations across the region and I would respectfully suggest that they ask fire chiefs how reliant their own counties are for Wrexham’s support.”

A consultation about the proposals ends on December 12. Please visit – www.yourvoice wrexham.net/KMS/elab.aspx? noip=1&CampaignId=371& SessionId=7W3XW8KTF6 to take part.

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