Firefighters will walk out this weekend in a dispute over pensions. The Fire Brigades Union called the industrial action after talks to avert the strike failed to reach an agreement. Ministers say strike action is unnecessary.
The decision to take industrial action will "damage firefighters' standing with the public", a Government spokesman has said.
The Department for Communities and Local Government, which is responsible for the fire service, said in a statement:
"The Government is clear that further change can be made through constructive engagement, but not under the shadow of industrial action, which only serves to damage firefighters' standing with the public,"