South Yorkshire fire crews campaign to end station cuts

Firefighters in South Yorkshire have launched a national campaign to prevent cuts to the service.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has said four fire stations across the county should close in an effort to save £10m.

Under the plans, it aims to close the retained station in Royston.

Stations in Darnall, Mansfield Road and the part-time station at Mosborough would be replaced with two new stations at Sheffield Parkway and Birley.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has placed an advert in a tabloid newspaper to highlight "the severity of the cuts" in the county.

John Gilliver, from the FBU, said the proposed cuts were "life-threatening".

"If they implement these cuts now then fire crews will take longer to get to an incident and lives would be lost," said Mr Gilliver.

'Minimum impact'

The fire service said 108 full-time jobs would go as staff either retire or leave the service.

These would be alongside 32 retained firefighter posts at Mosborough, Royston and Edlington going by 2016.

In a statement, the fire authority said: "We don't want to make these changes but have already received a government cut of £4.7m, and have been told the cut for 2013-15 will be even higher.

"We have therefore proposed changes which we believe will reduce our spending with the minimum impact on public safety."

Royston councillor Graham Kyte said the plans were "unjustified".

Sixteen different ideas on saving money were considered - but then rejected by officials.

The fire authority is expected to make a final decision on Monday.

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