Avon Fire and Rescue Service confirms plan to cut firefighter jobs

PUBLISHED: 16:57 25 February 2017


More than 50 firefighter jobs will be lost across the region in a move which has ben slammed as prioritising budget cutting over public safety.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service is embarking on changes to save £5million from its annual budget.

One such change will see administrative staff this spring move from Bristol to share Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s base in Portishead.

However, with some of the savings coming through job cuts, including losing 12 specialist turntable ladder appliance crew based in Weston, the service has been criticised this week.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) believes a balanced budget has been ‘prioritised over public safety’ in the fire service’s integrated risk management plan (IRMP).

Gary Spindler, chair of the Avon FBU, said: “It is clear these plans have been used to try to balance the books instead of looking at the best ways to minimise risks in order to keep the public safe.

“It is the polar opposite of how IRMPs are intended to be used. The IRMP would look very different without the planned budget cuts imposed by central Government.

“The FBU will continue to fight these decisions and urges the authority to reconsider these dangerous moves.”

The cuts come after the Government announced an investigation into Avon Fire and Rescue Service over claims of bullying, which could cost up to £1million according to the FBU.

Mr Spindler added: “Taxpayers will be paying for a Government-instigated inspection – at the cost of frontline firefighters.

“We believe the public will see that as a disgraceful and immoral use of their money.”

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