West Yorkshire fire crews organised a rally and march around Leeds city centre today, Saturday 3rd November, in reaction to proposed budget cuts, which they say will affect their frontline services.
This year's proposed cuts include:
- closing 11 fire stations (and building just 5 new ones)
- a loss of 12 front line appliances
- the loss of 250 operational firefights with another 20 of those being compulsory redundancies.
This is on top of last year's cuts that the fire authority approved which were:
- close 10 fire stations (and build just 5 new ones)
- get rid of 7 front line appliances, and,
- reduce the number of operational firefighters by 135, including 20 redundancies.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union are opposing the plans because they say the changes could cost lives. They say if the latest proposals are approved by the fire authority it will mean that in 12 months they have:
- agreed to close 21 fire stations, and replace them with just 10 new ones
- taken 19 fire appliances out of action, and
- cut 350 firefights from the frontline
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was accosted by anti-NHS reform protesters at a hospital in London earlier
Unison members from across the region will attend a rally in London today, calling for the Government's Health and Social Care Bill to be dropped. The controversial plans involve scrapping the county's primary care trusts and giving control of NHS budgets to groups of GPs instead.