Magazine article Public Finance

Urban Fire Authorities Fight 5% Cuts

Magazine article Public Finance

Urban Fire Authorities Fight 5% Cuts

Article excerpt

Urban fire authorities this week warned that national 'resilience capability' could be diminished unless ministers agree to freeze changes which would cut £30m from their budgets.

As Public Finance went to press, authorities were readying themselves for the provisional local government finance settlement, due to be announced on December 6.

Proposed changes to the grant distribution formula would translate into a real-terms funding cut of more than 5% for the fire and rescue authorities that serve England's major cities.

These seven authorities were hoping ministers would put the changes on hold until more detailed work could be done.

Gerard Murphy, director of finance at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, said metropolitan authorities contributed a significant amount of labour and equipment to help deal with national crises, such as the summer floods and last months east coast storms.

Murphy told PF: Our concern is if we are pressed into making reductions in the workforce that may well have a knock-on effect to our ability to support those national arrangements, and no one wants to see that happen. …

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