The true scale of the Government’s cuts to fire services across England has become clear, following the recent publication of the Draft Finance Settlement.
Locally, in South Yorkshire, some 262 firefighters have either gone already or will go under the Government’s plans. That is in addition to the number of fire stations that have been downgraded and the number of fire appliances being lost across the region.
We saw in November the vital role fire services play in non-statutory duties such as dealing with floods. The new cuts the Government have announced will make it increasingly likely that they will struggle to undertake these and even their normal firefighting duties, all of which will put public safety at risk.
The significant funding reductions in South Yorkshire are extremely worrying, which is why I am writing to the Fire Minister to set out my very serious concerns about the impact of his plans and urging him to rethink his proposals.