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08/11/2012 - Firefighters rally to defend services

Firefighters from all over Britain held a demonstration at Westminster yesterday to warn of what they describe as the "growing threat" to the fire service by government cuts.
 
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said it wanted to raise awareness of the "deep damage" caused by spending cuts. The union organised a lobby of MPs after the rally.
 
It said about 1,500 frontline jobs had been axed since 2010, with plans for a further 6,000 losses by 2015. FBU's General secretary Matt Wrack said the fire service was already "cut to the bone" and fire stations and fire engines were under threat.

"The government is acting as if it has nothing to do with it," he said.

"It's all down to the local fire service, but it's the government that's slashing budgets so fire authorities haven't got what they need to provide the service the public deserve. That means stations will close, fire engines will be axed and firefighters' jobs will go if planned cuts go ahead unchallenged."
 
The government said the FBU was wrong and trying to scare the public.

 

Seventeen fire stations face closure in London with many more under threat across the country.
 
Report from Ian Bell