MORE than 2,000 people have signed a petition against suspected fire service cuts.
Borough councillors and residents have pledged their support to the campaign to prevent the loss of Ellesmere Port's third fire engine.
The petition, organised by taxi driver Gary Woodward, is available to sign at 28 outlets across the borough.
Mr Woodward, who has only been collecting names for the past week or so, is astounded at the response so far.
He added: 'After reading in the Pioneer about the proposed local fire service cuts, I looked into the proposals and was horrified at what I discovered.
'I believe these cuts are going to leave the communities of Ellesmere Port and Neston with a lot less fire cover.'
Cheshire Fire Service wants Ellesmere Port to pilot its integrated risk management plan, which will shake up fire-fighters' shift patterns and possibly replace the Port's third engine with a fully-equipped fire vehicle.
But before this happens, the service has a statutory duty to consult the public.
Mr Woodward said: 'A meeting should be arranged urgently so fire representatives can explain how these proposed cuts will, in my view, have a devastating impact on the safety of our community.'
His petition has received cross-party support on the borough council and has been signed by Cllrs Kenny Spain, Tommy Griffiths, Mike McCusker, Barbara and Peter Shephard, Ted Lloyd, Justin Madders, Ian Ormerod, Pat Dowling, Henny Moore, Diane Roberts, Paul Donovan, Gareth and Brian Anderson, Janice Farquharson, Robert Crompton, Graham Smith, Peter Cooper, Kay Loch, Derek Gaskell and Thomas Marlow.
Mr Woodward said: 'I applaud the councillors who have already signed for protecting the welfare of the local community. I hope those who have not yet signed can be persuaded to do so.
'The feeling of the general public on this matter is one of outrage and disbelief.'
To sign up or help the campaign, call Mr Woodward at Circle Cabs on 0151 355 1928.
WHERE DO I SIGN?
The petition can be signed at: Bargain Booze, Wolverham, Whitby and Princes Road; Dots,
Westminster Road; Corner Shop, Livingston Road; The Spar, Loxdale Drive and Sutton Way; Barrys, Gleneagles Road; Port Wines, Hope Farm Road; The Straw Hat Pub; McCones, Station Road, Little Sutton; Squires Barber, Woodland Road; Boyz & Men Barbers, Port Market; On a
Roll, Westminster Road; Post Office, Hope Farm Road; Newstore, Marina Drive; McColls, Port Arcades; Greggs,
Marina Drive; borough council main reception; Neston Town Hall; Bier House, Whitby Road; Belmont, Whitby Road; Londis, Little Sutton; Willaston Post Office; Spar, Willaston; Ethel Austin, Neston; Barbers, Neston; AM & PM, West Vale, Neston; and in some cabs.