Over the last five years Plymouth's fire cover has been cut and cut again. Full time fire cover has been diminished and there has been an attack on firefighter's pensions and training. It is time for change.
Today I visited Crownhill Fire Station to meet with members of the FBU trade union and fire fighters. Over the past five years our fire cover here in Plymouth has been reduced. Fire stations that were full time have had their cover reduced and retained firefighters rather than full time firefighters now provide emergency cover for much of our city.
Firefighters in Plymouth do an incredible job but we can't keep going on asking them to do more and more with less and less.
Plymouth is a big city with a nuclear dockyard, tall buildings, old housing and a large complex industrial base - we need proper fire cover. The cuts our Tory MP voted for has had an effect on our city - in 2015 we are all a little less safe and secure than we were in 2010.
Do you agree with Alison and me that Plymouth deserves better than these Tory cuts?
Firefighters risk their lives to save our's - the least we can do is protect their jobs.
Across the public services we have seen the consequences of Tory cuts. Our NHS is being privatised and we are losing police officers as well as having our fire cover reduced. I think Plymouth gets a poor deal from government and you can see this clearly when you look at our city's fire cover.
Pensions and training
As well as having their funding cut Devon and Somerset Fire Service has also seen the Government attack its training budgets. Firefighters are now being trained in less time than ever before raising questions about the level of training new firefighters have.
I'm also backing efforts by Alison Seabeck to have the pensions of firefighters looked at again. The increase in retirement age means firefighters are being asked to work longer and longer. Tackling fires is an incredibly difficult and physical job and I want to know that firefighters have the right deal with Government over when they should take their pensions.