Hull march over fire service budget cuts

Firefighters in Hull
Image caption Members of the fire authority approved £2.5m of savings designed to balance its budget.

Firefighters have marched through Hull to protest at budget cuts due to be implemented in April.

Members of the fire authority approved £2.5m of cuts designed to balance its budget.

An engine is to be cut from East Hull fire station and all engines in the city are to be crewed with four firefighters instead of five.

Rob Vaux, of the Fire Brigades Union, said: "We need to protect fire engines to save people's lives."

"These cuts will increase risk to the public," he added.

The march led by a pipe band ended in a rally at Queen Victoria Square in the city centre that was addressed by Karl Turner, Labour MP for Hull East.

The details of the Operational Efficiency Programme were announced in January by the Humberside Fire Authority.

Other measures include replacing a number of full-sized engines with two-person "Small Fires Units".

A service spokesman previously said: "We believe the public recognise that the fire and rescue service has to reduce the amount of engines it deploys in certain areas and that this will be done reasonably and proportionally."

The authority has said it still needed to save "approximately £3m" by April 2016.

A similar protest march was held by firefighters and supporters in Grimsby on 15 March to protest against the budget reduction.

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