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Fire Cuts Will Cause Deaths According To MP

Wednesday September 19 2012

MP John Healey MP John Healey

ONE in seven fire fighters serving South Yorkshire will lose their jobs if government funding cuts go ahead, an MP has warned.

John Healey spoke at a debate in the House of Commons and said if planned fire cuts go ahead more people would die.

He said that South Yorkshire should ger a fairer deal for funding - especially after it emerged that rural counties had their funding increased as a new Government funding formula advantaged areas able to raise more in council tax.

He said: “The situation that we faced in these first two years was indefensible.

"While six authorities were wondering how to spend the extra cash they had, the six Metropolitan areas were working out how to cut 1,258 full-time firefighters, 69 retained firefighters and more than 550 other staff.

“In South Yorkshire alone, we have to cut one in seven of our full-time firefighters.

“If the cuts fall in the same way, so deeply and so unfairly in the Metropolitan areas, there will be fewer firefighters, fire engines and fire stations. Bluntly, more people will die.”

Already South Yorkshire has lost £8.1 million in funding and there are fears that if more firefighters are made redundant, stations would close, appliances would be lost, response times, deaths and injuries would increase.

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