Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service expected to announce cuts to save £5.5m
DEVON and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is set to host a press conference today at which it is expected to announce plans to cut services in order to make a £5.5m saving over the next two years.
The service’s Draft Corporate Plan Proposals will be unveiled at the media briefing at its headquarters in Exeter.
Fire chiefs will reveal how the service has received a reduction of 10.3 per cent to its Government Grant settlement for the next financial year and a reduction of 7.3 per cent for the following year.
Those cuts mean the Service will need to save £3.4m in the next financial year and £2.1m the following year.
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The press conference will set out the Service’s plans to meet the demands placed upon it by the funding cut.
Those plans will then be further discussed by the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority at its meeting on January 18, before a 12 week public consultation gets under way.
Bob Walker, from the Devon and Somerset Fire Brigade union, said the union is in a difficult position until it knows exactly what the service’s proposals are.
“We know the headline news but not the details,” he said.
“The difficult position we’re in is we don’t know the exact detail of what’s proposed, only the amounts of money that must be saved.”
He said the Union would take a position tomorrow, after it received a briefing on the ahead of the press conference takes place.
“It’s the Government imposing these cuts,” said Mr Walker, “which we cant agree with.
“We don’t agree with cuts because cuts cost lives.”
Only members of the press are welcome at the briefing.