Firefighters set to lobby MPs

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FIREFIGHTERS are to lobby South Yorkshire MPs today over Government funding cuts they claim will result in the loss of 140 frontline posts.

Crew members from across the county are travelling to the House of Commons for a meeting with MPs from all political parties.

They want them to challenge the Government over funding cuts totalling £10 million over the next few years.

To save the cash fire chiefs have suggested that four fire stations are closed and two new premises are built.

The FBU claims this will result in longer travelling times for fire crews.

John Gilliver, secretary of the Fire Brigades Union in South Yorkshire, said: “These are slash and burn cuts with frontline crews being targeted once again.

“Politicians of all parties promised no cuts to the front line, but that is precisely what continues to happen.

“We’re going to end up with even more cuts to firefighters, fewer appliances and fewer stations. Frontline crews will be spread even more thinly than we are now.

“We were overstretched by major flooding a few years ago, if anything like that happens again we’ll be overwhelmed.

“It is difficult enough coping since the last round of cuts and these are a step too far.

“How can they expect us to cope with all the 999 incidents we have to deal with, after cuts of this magnitude?

“It is simply unreal to expect us to be able to do so, no matter how dedicated we are to serving our local communities.

“These cuts would clearly increase risk to the public and firefighters.”