£1m in savings sought

12 January 2016

Plans to slash fire crews and stations in Humberside in a bid to save £1 million in the 2016/17 budget have gone out for public consultation.

But fire authority said that a 70% cut in government funding had forced the exploration of changes to the way the service operates. 

The plans propose merging two stations in Immingham and removing one fire engine. The Fire Brigades Union warned that were the plans to go ahead, as many as 24 jobs could be lost.

The FBU also warned about the potential risk to fire crews and the public.

Richard Walker, Brigade Secretary for Humberside FBU, said: "It will increase risk to the public and firefighters. Everybody is concerned about job cuts, but it is mainly public safety.

"Once fire engines go they will never come back." 

However, Chris Blacksell, Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said there would be no redundancies.

"If we were to remove any fire engines then clearly we would need [fewer] staff," he said.

"What we would do is phase that in gradually with the retirement profile so we wouldn't be looking to make redundancies, but we would be looking not to replace people as they retired."

The results of the consultation are expected in March. 

Original source