Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Fire service funding

The allocation of funding to fire authorities in England has been described as a "grotesque distortion", during a Westminster Hall debate on 7 March 2012.

Labour MP Paul Goggins spoke on a debate opened by his colleague Yasmin Qureshi on the funding of fire services in metropolitan areas.

The two MPs said that areas such as Greater Manchester were suffering disproportionately from the impact of funding cuts.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority has recently agreed savings of £6.5m but its chair has said £10m more may need to be found.

The authority has lost 300 uniformed posts and 100 support roles since implementing budget cuts in 2011.

Ms Qureshi warned that the fire service might not be able to carry out preventative work - such as home safety checks - in the future.

However, Communities and Local Government Minister Bob Neill denied that metropolitan areas were being hit unfairly.

He said that all fire services were being affected by spending cuts, but said the coalition had increased the "relative needs weighting" that benefited fire authorities in urban areas.

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