Breaking: South Yorkshire firefighters could be balloted on ‘action short of a strike’

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FIREFIGHTERS in South Yorkshire will be balloted for industrial action if brigade chiefs don’t reverse a range of proposed cuts to crewing arrangements, it has been announced.

The Fire Brigades Union have given South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue seven days’ notice of a ballot for ‘action short of a strike’.

The union is locked in a dispute with management over the cutbacks, which involve shutting two fire stations - Darnall and Mansfield Road - and replacing them with a new station near the Sheffield Parkway.

There is also a proposal to close retained stations in Mosborough in Sheffield and Royston in Barnsley, but a full-time station would be built at Birley to replace Mosborough.

There are also plans for three roving fire engines, which normally provide cover when crews are training, to be taken out of service.

Another controversial proposal is to change working times and have firefighters at up to six stations at work 24 hours a day for four days at a time.

Fire chiefs claim the closures are necessary to help save £10 million a year over the next four years, forced by Government funding cuts.