Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 16:09 UK

Fears over fire service proposals

Fire union officials have expressed fears over plans to close some stations and cut crews in Leicestershire.

The county's fire service is consulting on the proposals, which it says are designed to "improve efficiency".

They include closing Moira and Syston stations, reducing resources at Loughborough and Hinckley, and cutting city crews from five people to four.

New stations would also be built under the plans, but the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said services would be affected.

We've got to try and do more with the same
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Ian Scarrott

Tom Neal, of the FBU, said: "We do need to look at resources and make sure they are put in the right places, but it appears this plan is only looking at redistributing frontline resources."

The plans would also see new stations built at Castle Donington and Birstall and extra firefighters transferred to Melton Mowbray.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Ian Scarrott said: "Like all public services we are under pressure to deliver what our communities want and need, what we think is safe, and at the same time demonstrate value for money.

"There's no question if we were given another £10m tomorrow we could spend it wisely on the frontline.

"That's not the situation we're in, so we've got to try and do more with the same."

A public consultation ends on 31 October.

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