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Full Report: Fire service budget cuts

The government could be risking people's lives if it doesn't protect fire prevention schemes from cuts, the firefighters' union warned today.

It follows a report by the Local Government Association, which says our fire services may have to cut their spending by a third within the next few years.

Ministers say frontline services will be protected, but there are fears for the other work that firefighters do, as Ben Chapman reports.

You can watch his full report below.

Statement from the Fire Minister on proposed budget cuts

The Fire Minister Brandon Lewis has released a statement after a report by the Local Government Association said that community safety schemes, like fitting free smoke alarms, could could come under threat if proposed budget cuts are implemented to fire brigades.

"This is crude lobbying by the LGA based on completely fictitious figures. Funding for fire and rescue authorities for the next two years was outlined in January and any speculation about future funding is purely that.

"Fire and rescue authorities deliver an incredibly important service for local communities. That is why spending for fire and rescue authorities, like other blue light services, has been protected."

– Fire Minister Brandon Lewis

"But every bit of the public sector needs to play its part to cut the deficit.

"There is significant scope for fire and rescue authorities to make sensible savings, such as through reforms to flexible staffing and crewing arrangements, better procurement, shared services including sharing of senior staff and operational collaborations."

– Fire Minister Brandon Lewis

"Fire and rescue services have been cut to the bone over the last decade"

Budget cuts will leave the region's fire services unable to spend time preventing house fires, and could put lives in danger, according to the firefighters' union.

A report by the Local Government Association says fire brigades across the country will have to cut their spending by a third within the next five years.

The report also says community safety schemes, like fitting free smoke alarms, could could come under threat if proposed budget cuts are implemented.

Pete Wilcox, from the Fire Brigades Unions, spoke to ITV News about the effect that the cuts could have.

Warning over proposed cuts to regional fire services

Proposed cuts could mean that less money will be available for community services Credit: ITV News

The Local Government Association is warning that vital community services could be at risk because of cuts to regional fire service budgets in England.

The Association say that the proposed cuts could mean that less money will be available for work such as testing smoke alarms and providing safety advice.

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