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Fears over proposed fire service cuts in Tyne and Wear
12:02pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
A UNION is warning that “devastating” fire service cuts will put people at risk.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) plans to cut more than £5m from its budget, meaning the loss of 131 firefighter posts, 20 per cent of the brigade’s total.
The FBU says the proposals also include the closure of Gosforth,Wallsend and Sunderland Central fire stations and building of a new station covering Gosforth and Wallsend.
The union is also concerned about the permanent removal of six frontline fire engines (20 per cent of total fire engines) with others removed at night, the loss of an aerial ladder platform and cuts in crewing levels across the service.
FBU brigade secretary Dave Turner said: “We have made it clear in all recent discussions with senior managers that we will oppose any further cuts to frontline services. “These are the most devastating cuts in the service’s history and will mean firefighters and the public will be at far greater risk if these cuts go ahead. “It also means that areas of Tyne and Wear will be left without cover for extended periods, again increasing the risk to both the public and firefighters alike.”
The brigade is outlining the proposed cuts – which will be put out for consultation - at a press briefings taking place at its headquarters in Washington from 11.30am.
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