Union fights “life threatening” cash cuts to fire service

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. Picture: Marie Caley D0949MC
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. Picture: Marie Caley D0949MC

FIRE crew will this morning call for councillors to stop a cost cutting scheme, which would see the closure of four fire stations, the loss of 140 frontline posts and cuts in numbers of emergency control staff.

The cuts would impact Edlington, Thorne and Dearne Fire Stations, with Dearne at risk of losing 16 front line firefighters.

South Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union says the cuts are “too much, too soon” and that the fire authority could use part of its cash reserve of £15 million to avoid such drastic cuts.

They have also warned Government that cuts on this scale would risk lives.

South Yorkshire FBU brigade secretary John Gilliver said: “These cuts are too deep, too soon. We agree with the fire authority’s own conclusion that the cuts are life threatening.

“We have a potential cash problem caused in London which we can solve in South Yorkshire. The budget gap can be filled by using part of the huge financial reserves.

“It is ludicrous to start making incredibly risky cuts when you don’t need to. I’d urge councillors to think again.”

The fire authority meeting starts at 10am at the Joint Secretariat Building in Barnsley.