Chief Fire Officers’ Concerns On Cuts

The Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) has made public its concerns about the impact of fire and rescue service funding cuts on the safety of local communities.

Vij Randeniya, CFOA President said: “Fire and Rescue Services across the UK are facing the toughest challenge in their history as budgets are slashed. Financial pressures are impacting upon the ability of the service to keep our communities safe and protect businesses.”

In the publication, Fighting Fires or Firefighting: The Impact of Austerity on English Fire and Rescue Services, CFOA spells out the fire and rescue service contribution to a safe, healthy and prosperous society and highlights how that extensive contribution is now at risk.

The CFOA President added: “We recognise the need for all public services to contribute to the reduction of the national deficit but fire and rescue needs some protection to reflect its vital contribution to national resilience and the safety and wellbeing of local communities. CFOA has put forward a series of proposals to government which would allow services greater flexibility to make efficiencies in future whilst maintaining the provision of the resilience and security that government and the public expect.”

Councillor Dave Hanratty, Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “The Chief Fire Officers’ Association has raised their concerns about the potential funding cuts that could cut deeply in Merseyside. This adds more weight to our call for no further cuts which would lead to station closures, less appliances and less firefighters. The Government must listen before it is too late. The people of Merseyside are signing our paper petitions, which are now on our stations and we are still receiving backing on our online petition.

“Now is the time for you to make your voice heard. Helps us to make our case heard in London and Westminster.”

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has launched a petition calling for no further cuts to its funding grant. More than 2,000 people have added their names to the online petition. Paper copies of the petition are now available at the 26 community fire stations in Merseyside for the public to sign.

Councillor Hanratty continued: “Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has seen its budgets cut by 12% over the last two years and has had the worst Government grant settlements of any UK service since 2005.

“The Government is now indicating further significant grant reductions over the next two years which will mean station closures, fewer firefighters and fewer fire appliances.

“It is the vulnerable and poor who will be most affected and most at risk from any further cuts in our funding. I would urge everyone in Merseyside and further afield to sign the petition.”

The online petition can be accessed at

A document has also been released by the Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities, which includes Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, outlining the potential impact of the 2013 to 2015 grant settlement from central government. The document can be accessed by clicking the link at the bottom of this page. The document includes information including the reduction in firefighter posts since 2000 in Merseyside and other Metropolitan areas, the reduction in fire deaths from 2005/6 and 2010/11 in Merseyside as well as grant funding increases for all Fire and Rescue Services from the financial years 2005/06 to 2010/11.

Below are two submission documents which have been sent to government on behalf of the Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities:

Potential Impact of the 2013-15 Finance Settlement Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities

Potential Impact of the 2013-15 Finance Settlement Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities

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