Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

March 23, 2011 07:43 ET

Fire Cuts Hit the North East Hard, Says Fire Brigades Union

TYNE AND WEAR, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - 120 North East firefighters are travelling to London on the 26th March after the Fire Brigades Union revealed that the North East region will be amongst the hardest hit by cuts to the fire and rescue service (FRS).

The FBU has discovered that the fire service in Cleveland, Durham & Darlington, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear face at least £6.6m cuts in the next year alone, among the worst hit in the country. Some 120 (the same size as the delegation to London) frontline firefighters' jobs are earmarked to be cut in the same period - and 155 jobs in the four fire and rescue services overall, with much worse to come over the following four years!

But firefighters from the North East will not accept the cuts. They are joining thousands of others at the TUC demonstration in London.

"The reality is that despite being told by Central Government and some senior managers that 'frontline' services will remain unaffected, firefighters know the real situation. Funding reductions, which are due to get worse over the next four years, will inevitably reduce the number of firefighters and fire appliances, consequently emergency attendance times will increase; making life much more dangerous for firefighters and ultimately much less safe for communities in general. What we're seeing this year is merely the tip of the iceberg; if these cuts go ahead the North East FRSs will be unrecognisable and certainly won't reflect a modern effective FRS that taxpayers deserve – firefighting is at the frontline of the frontline, cuts such as these expose the lies of some politicians" Andy Noble – Executive Council Member FBU North East.

"I and colleagues are going to London on March 26th to protest against the dogmatic attack on public services by this Tory led coalition. The effect that these savage cuts are having in Durham and Darlington FRS has resulted in the proposed loss of up to 40 uniformed frontline posts and 20 non uniformed jobs. This is a total turnaround from a government which stated "frontline emergency services would be protected". Tony Curry – FBU Brigade Secretary Durham & Darlington.

"Cleveland members are attending the demo as a result of 100 job losses (approx.) over the next 4 years, including 26 frontline firefighter posts, less people doing more work for no more pay, at the same time as a 3% pension's increase and a proposed three year wage freeze. Also to highlight the issue of the Comprehensive Spending Review and funding arrangements for fire and rescue services, in which Cleveland is adversely affected because Industrial Risk is not recognised sufficiently! " Dave HoweFBU Brigade Chair Cleveland Fire & Rescue.

"The T&W delegation is going to London to demonstrate the anger felt by firefighters along with other public sector workers at the vicious attack on Fire Service funding and the unprecedented attacks on frontline services along with the disgraceful attack on public sector pensions. T&W are losing up to 170 jobs and could lose four fire appliances as a result of being forced to make £13m cuts. These cuts will lead to a poorer service to the residents of T&W and will inevitably lead to an increased risk to Firefighter and public safety." Dave Turner – FBU Brigade Secretary Tyne and Wear FRS.

"In the previous two years Northumberland FRS has already been subjected to the loss of frontline posts and closure of fire stations. Further losses and the potential of a merger with Cumbria FRS would do absolutely nothing for public or firefighter safety. It's imperative that we demonstrate our objections to the destruction of frontline services because despite pre-election promises, it would appear that these are now legitimate targets, even to the extent that the County Council are contemplating 'Off-Loading' Fire and Rescue provision to other bodies, which is not what Northumberland residents voted for at the last election". Mandy Cregin – FBU Brigade Chair Northumberland FRS.

Contact Information

  • Andy Noble
    Executive Council Member
    07827300065
    or
    Peter Wilcox
    Regional Secretary
    07827300063
    or
    Dave Howe
    Cleveland Brigade Chair
    07827300070
    or
    Tony Curry
    Durham & Darlington Brigade Secretary
    07827300073
    or
    Mandy Cregin
    Northumberland Brigade Chair
    07827300064
    or
    Dave Turner
    Tyne & Wear Brigade Secretary
    07827300066