Humberside

Humberside fire crews could be cut to save extra £5m

Humberside Fire Authority meeting
Image caption Humberside Fire Service outlined the proposals at a press conference earlier

Up to six fire crews could be cut as part of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service's plans to shed a further £5m from its budget, the BBC has learned.

Details of the plans were revealed at a press conference earlier.

In 2010 the service said it had to make savings of £5.3m by 2014 because of a reduction in government funding.

It now anticipates an additional budget reduction of £5m by 2018/19. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said cuts would "put lives at risk".

Humberside Fire Authority outlined 26 options, all of which include slashing engines in 13 areas - Goole, Withernsea, Bridlington, Hornsea, Beverley, Brough, Market Weighton, Pocklington, Immingham, Cleethorpes, Waltham, Grimsby and Hull.

Out of the 26 options, the authority is expected to decide on seven.

A review published last week into the fire and rescue services in England, commissioned by the government, found they had to be "transformed to become more efficient and effective".

But unions criticised it as an excuse to cut spending.

'Challenging time'

The service said it was looking at ways it could make the additional savings "without compromising fire engine response standards".

Chief fire officer Richard Hannigan, said it was "a challenging time for the organisation".

"We have already made significant changes to enable us to deliver a more effective and efficient service. However, we need to do more to meet anticipated budget reductions.

"The efficiency options we have developed will enable us to make additional savings while maintaining our existing response standards."

Roy Vaux, the FBU chairman for Humberside, said: "It's only going to lead to an increase in attendance times of appliances getting to you if you're in trouble or you need a rescue.

"Our budget can't be reduced anymore without putting lives at risk."

The fire service said no decision had been made and that it was consulting with staff, the public and other parties on the proposals.

A decision would be made by the fire authority later in the year, which would then go out to public consultation.

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