Lewes Lib Dems demand local MP and government whip, Maria Caulfield, shows her extra promised additional funding for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services
Following the devastating fire in Newhaven, local Lib Dems are calling on Maria Caulfield to prove that she has secured her promised extra money for ESFRS. Ms Caulfield is on record claiming incidents like the Newhaven fire are the reason why she is opposing cuts to local Fire Services. Local Lib Dems are asking Ms Caulfield how she can square her position of ‘fighting cuts to ESFRS’ with her voting record in Parliament, where she has supported every vote to cut spending on local government which has had a knock-on impact of reduced budgets for local services, including the Fire Authorities.
Oli Henman, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Lewes, said:
"Maria Caulfield claims to be championing the needs of our local fire service while at the same time she has consistently voted with the government to reduce local government spending over a number of years; and furthermore it is her own party that has been proposing to reduce support to our frontline firefighters in East Sussex.
It seems that Ms Caulfield is happy to provide warm words locally but not take action nationally. I challenge Ms Caulfield to deliver the additional funds from the Home Office that our essential fire service clearly needs. Show us the money!”
County Councillor for Ouse Valley West and Downs and ESFRS authority member, Cllr Sarah Osborne commented:
“The recent serious fire in Newhaven shows how important our local Fire Services are. The Conservative Government has cut local government funding dramatically over recent years, and the cumulative impact of these cuts means a total drop of nearly £12 million, with a 50% reduction in the last five years, for ESFRS; and Maria Caulfield has voted consistently for those cuts to local government. The contribution from national Government to our Fire and Rescue Services is now next to negligible. The Fire Authority needs secure funding, not random one-off payments, to be able to plan services effectively and safely. Officers do a fantastic job in the very insecure financial circumstances that central Government have put them in, but if this continues and a further proposed cut of central Government resources goes through, there will be drastic results for Fire and Rescue.”
1. The government grant contribution to ESFRS was £15m in 2012 and reduced to £3m in the 2020 fiscal year with cuts accelerating in recent years, with 50% reductions since 2016.
2. Maria Caulfield MP voting record on local government cuts, source: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/25397/maria_caulfield/lewes/divisions?policy=6671
According to the official records Maria Caulfield has voted consistently to reduce local government funding as follows:
- On 5 Feb 2019: Maria Caulfield voted to set the main central government grant to local government for 2018-19 at a level 56% lower than it was set for 2017-18.
- On 7 Feb 2018: Maria Caulfield voted to set the main central government grant to local government for 2018-19 at a level 28% lower than it was set for 2017-18.
- On 22 Feb 2017: Maria Caulfield voted to set the main central government grant to local government for 2017-18 at a level 44% lower than it was set for 2016-17.Show vote
- On 10 Feb 2016: Maria Caulfield voted to set the main central government grant to local government for 2016-17 at a level 24.6% lower than it was set for 2015-16.