Consultation on South Yorkshire Fire Service job cuts

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue HQ in Sheffield South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue must cut £10m from its yearly budget by 2015

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Plans to shed 140 firefighter jobs in South Yorkshire are to go to public consultation, the fire authority has announced.

The proposals, which also include plans to close several fire stations, have been made in the light of government funding cuts of £10m by 2015.

The Fire Brigades' Union (FBU) has already condemned the plans.

The South Yorkshire Fire Authority said it would listen carefully to the public before making a final decision.

Jamie Courtney, chief fire officer at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, welcomed the authority's decision.

He said: "We have the unenviable task of saving around £10m from our £60m budget. Even with these cuts we are still short of that £10m mark."

'Massive impact'

Under the plans, 68 full-time and 32 retained firefighters would make an overall saving of £2.25m per year, with an additional reduction of 40 full-time firefighter posts from internal staffing changes, making an overall saving for the service of £4m per annum.

The service also plans to close fire stations in Darnall, Mansfield Road, and a part-time station at Mosborough, and replace them with two new stations near the Sheffield Parkway and Birley.

The FBU said the proposals would have a "massive impact" on front line services.

Mr Courtney added: "It would be foolish to suggest you can make these cuts and still provide the same service. That said they have been designed to have the least impact on the people of South Yorkshire."

The public consultation will last for 14 weeks.

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