Fire budget plans slammed

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A member of Derbyshire Fire & rescue Authority has condemned its proposals for funding a budget shortfall as ‘a plan to have a plan.’

The authority was responding to a 12-week consultation over plans which would have meant the loss of 16 fire engines and 11 fire stations with a loss of over 100 full-time firefighter posts county-wide.

But in the face of overwhelming opposition from members of the public, fire service employees, MPs and charities Derbyshire Fire & Rescue has agreed to consider station closures as a last resort.

There will also be no compulsory redundancies over the next 2 years.

But Coun Simon Spencer, leader of the authority’s Conservative Group, said the 11 actions laid out in an eight-page document presented to members of the authority were vague at best.

He added: “What we should be discussing as a fire authority is a plan and because there is not a plan we fear this will be discussed behind closed doors.”

Coun Spencer, an ex-firefighter of 18 years, said at a meeting of the authority to discuss the Transforming Service Delivery 2022 proposals, members had failed to present an alternate plan.

“If the commitment is not to close stations for two years that will put them under more financial pressure,” said Coun Spencer.

“I challenge the authority to outline how it will develop its plans.”

Coun Roland Hosker, chairman of the Fire Authority, said: “No change is not an option as the Service faces over £4m of further cuts over the next 4 years.

“A working group, comprising of members including Coun Spencer, will investigate all the proposals to address the cuts will look for further ways to meet them.”

To view the new budget proposals CLICK HERE

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