Cambridgeshire firefighters set for cuts rally

Cambridgeshire firefighters will reveal alternatives to cuts at mass rally.

Firefighters' leaders will next week outline their alternative plans to save Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service millions of pounds.

The Fire Brigades Union will hold a public mass meeting at next Thursday night, where they will detail their alternatives to the �5.3million of cuts put forward at a fire authority meeting last month.

The union believes that savings can be made without affecting frontline service, and will reveal the budget at the Victoria Inn, Huntingdon, when more than 100 firefighters and members of the public are expected to attend.

Kevin Napier, Cambridgeshire secretary of the FBU, said: 'The FBU has never avoided the opportunity to change or improve the service, but we accept it has to be right across the board. We don't believe the decisions taken at the fire authority do that.'

The FBU's budget proposal will be approved next Monday for presentation to the fire service, and copies will be available at the public meeting.

Mr Napier said that some suggestions were likely to be 'unpalatable' to senior management, adding: 'The credibility of the alternative cuts is for the service to deny or counter, but we want to put some more alternatives into the mix.

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'In discussions with fire authority members we were told we needed to come up with alternative suggestions – which is exactly what we have done.'

Cambridgeshire fire service's proposals for saving money were agreed by the county's fire authority on May 26.

They include a new shift pattern for firefighters and scrapping a number of fire appliances from outlying stations.

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