Fire service budget slashed by £5.5m

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 January 2013


MORE than £5million will be slashed from the budget of one of the region’s fire services.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority needs to save £5.5million over the next two years after its Government grants were cut.

The service, which has bases in Cheddar and Burnham, has issued an 11-point plan to combat the cuts and will launch a three-month consultation on Monday.

Changes which include reducing the number of managerial posts and not renewing some support staff’s contracts, aim to save £3.4million in 2013 and a further £2.1million next year. The figures equate to 10.3 per cent this year and 7.3 per cent in 2014.

Chief fire officer Lee Howell said: “These are difficult times and difficult decisions need to be made.

“The proposals that have been agreed for public consultation do not require closure of fire stations, removal of fire engines or compulsory redundancies.

“We aim to maintain or improve public safety by changing the way we do business and by crewing some fire engines differently, but like many other public and private organisations we do have to operate with less money.”

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