Fire engines to be cut in five towns in Cumbria

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Plans to reduce the number of fire engines based in five towns have been proposed by Cumbria County Council.

Fire stations in Kendal, Penrith, Workington, Whitehaven and Maryport, could each lose one of their two appliances.

The proposals, which also include the closure of Dalton fire station, are being consulted on in a bid to save £24m from the council's 2013/14 budget.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the move would be "an absolute disaster".

The proposals also include moving one fire engine from Barrow to Ulverston.

Lee Skarrett, from the FBU, said: "This will be an absolute disaster for Cumbrian people and the communities of Cumbria. It will increase risk both to fire fighters and community members alike."

The council said across the county, incidents attended have gone down from more than in 6,500 in 2007/08 to fewer than 4,500 in 2012/13, a drop of 34% and fire related injuries are down 69%.

Councillor Barry Doughty said: "The service has always allocated its resources to where the risks are in the county. The proposals today are consistent with that approach."

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