Firefighters are being pushed to ‘breaking point’ says Portsmouth MP amid fresh cash cut fears

FIREFIGHTERS are at ‘breaking point’ amid resurgent fears over a second wave of government-led austerity measures which could see the nation’s service losing £155m in the next year.

Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 10:15 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 11:25 am
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan. Picture: Loughlan Campbell

That was the view of Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP, who has thrown his weight behind a campaign to protect the budgets of England’s fire service.

It comes after the Fire Brigade Union and Hampshire Fire Brigades’ Union warned the government was looking to strip millions from the services – in a move which could see the county’s fire service budget drop by 15 per cent compared to 2016-17.

Mr Morgan said the cuts were ‘putting us all at risk’ and added: ‘Following liaison with the Fire Brigade Union and the National Fire Chief Council, it is clear the fire brigade is at breaking point. ‘Only last week, I met with fire officers in Southsea Fire Station to see first hand the challenges they face on a daily basis. It’s clear cuts have consequences.

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‘The government is not only putting the public at risk but also the brave men and women who put on their uniforms to protect us.

‘Yet again Hampshire and Portsmouth are being disproportionately targeted, seeing a 17 per cent decrease in funding 2016-17 to 2019-20, two per cent more than the national average. It is essential to the security of this country that we give the fire service the funding and resources they need to do their job effectively and safely.’