Tyne & Wear

Haydon Bridge fire station to close amid budget cuts

Haydon Bridge fire station
Image caption Haydon Bridge fire station is to close

Council bosses have confirmed the closure of a fire station in Northumberland as part of a move to save £500,000.

Northumberland County Council is axing Haydon Bridge station as well as downsizing another in West Harton.

The authority said there were 'no viable alternatives' after already being forced to save £1.5m since 2014.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) urged the council to rethink the cuts, claiming they will put the public at risk.

The council's deputy leader and chair of Northumberland Fire and Rescue Authority, Dave Ledger, said the scale of the cuts required could see further service reductions in the future.

'No choice'

He said: "No one wants to make cuts to such an important, much-loved, respected service with professional hard working staff who risk their lives on a daily basis.

"However, no viable alternatives have emerged or been suggested.

"Cutting the budget for the fire and rescue service is not something we want to do, however the council's core budget is being cut by 82.4% over the next four years. We simply have no choice."

Alex Bennett, chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue, said: "In developing these proposals we carried out detailed analysis and used our professional expertise as firefighters to ensure that the required cuts are made in a way which has the least impact on our communities."

Guy Tiffin, secretary for the FBU in Northumberland, said: "Our ability to protect the public will be severely compromised by these indefensible cuts. We ask that councillors reconsider this decision that will cost lives."

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