CONTROVERSIAL aerial rescue pumps introduced two years ago at a cost of £2million are to be scrapped.

The South Yorkshire Fire Authority have agreed that the pumps are to replaced by aerial and ground engines, costing them £300,000.

The move comes as part of the authority's plan up to 2017 to help reduce costs and save closing more stations and removing engines. 

Chairman Cllr Jim Andrews said the scrapping of the combined aerial rescue pumps would save money because fewer firefighters would be needed.

He added: "They have cost a lot of money but had also saved £121,000 per year in Barnsley alone. We'll take out 12 posts at each place they were at."

Members also agreed to cut the number of night-time staff in Barnsley, with only one crew working full-time overnight.

Cllr Andrews said he was 'grudgingly happy' with the plan.

Fire chiefs face the likelihood of a further £3million in cuts by 2017 based on the recent government spending review, on top of the £9million reduction in budget up to 2015.

These cuts have already led to the loss of five pumps last year and saw stations, including the one at Royston, close.