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Relief fire crew due to be axed

A fire relief crew based in the Harborough district is due to be axed under a raft of cuts proposed by the fire service.

A fire relief crew based in the Harborough district is due to be axed under a raft of cuts proposed by the fire service.

 

A fire relief crew based in the Harborough district is due to be axed under a raft of cuts proposed by the fire service.

The Leicestershire Combined Fire Authority held a behind-closed-doors meeting last Wednesday to discuss cuts which the service needs to make due to reduced central Government grants.

It says £3.9m of cuts need to be made in the next three years and £7.5m by 2019.

The county’s Chief Fire Officer Dave Webb held a live web broadcast after the meeting outlining its proposals to balance the budget.

One of those is to get rid of the eight-strong resilience crew based in Billesdon.

The crew provides support to fire stations such as Harborough and Kibworth.

In an interview with the Mail on Monday, Chief Officer Webb would not be drawn on whether the proposed axing of the crew would lead to redundancies.

He said it would depend on several factors across the service such as early retirement and voluntary redundancies.

Meanwhile, it was also confirmed that plans to introduce Day Crewing Plus in Harborough and Lutterworth would both be shelved.

This would have led to retained firefighters – those who are on-call while holding down other jobs – losing their jobs to full-time firefighters. Day Crewing Plus uses half the number of firefighters but doubles their shifts. It is being axed locally as it is now deemed too expensive.

Although Harborough’s station was omitted from any obvious cuts, many of the 14-person retained crew based at Fairfield Road remain anxious.

One serving firefighter told the Mail that they are still expecting job cuts and that the “full bitter pill” will be revealed sooner rather than later.

Chief Officer Webb told the Mail he still saw a future for retained crews “in the right locations”.

A final report will be submitted back to the fire authority in September.

 

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