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Daily hails ‘victory for common sense’ after fire cuts campaign win

A regional daily has hailed a “victory for common sense” after it successfully campaigned against proposed fire service cuts on its patch.

Barrow-based daily The Mail launched a campaign after Cumbria County Council announced plans which would have seen South Cumbria left with just one full-time fire crew at night with support from on-call crews.

After The Mail reported on a “groundswell of public support for the fire crews” during a public consultation on the proposals, the council decided to revise its plans and two full-time night crews will now serve the area.

The decision, hailed as a “victory for common sense” by campaigners, provided a splash for The Mail on Friday.

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Editor James Higgins told HTFP: “It was clear there was a groundswell of public support for the fire crews and a real concern that the county council proposals would have a serious effect on public safety.

“We covered the issue extensively, giving both sides of the argument before weighing in with our position on the matter and throwing our support behind the fire crews.

“Everyone understands that councils are having to operate to increasingly tighter margins and for this reason, difficult decisions must be made.

“But we felt the proposed further slimming down of our local fire service was a step too far. Stepping in and making our views and those of the public crystal clear was absolutely the right thing to do.”

He added: “Our reporter Amy Fenton worked really hard on the campaign after sensing the degree to which the public – and the crews – opposed the moves. Her hard work and tenacity I am sure played a key part in the eventual decision by the council to review their plans.”