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Greater Manchester firefighters urge public to help resist cuts

The Fire Brigades Union is calling on people to message Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to demand plans to shut six fire stations is scrapped

FIREFIGHTERS in Greater Manchester are urging the public to help resist the proposed closure of six fire stations across the region.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has asked people to message Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and local MPs to demand that the proposals to close down the stations are scrapped and to call for more money from central government.

It is estimated that 100 staff and nine engines will be lost as a result of Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s proposals to save £9 million on its budget.

The six stations earmarked for closure are Bolton Central, Bolton North, Stockport King Street, Stockport Whitehill, Philips Park and Manchester Central.

Engines will be lost from Manchester Central, Blackley, Heywood, Moss Side, Oldham, Eccles, Salford, Gorton and Bolton.

The cuts would mean that engines would be crewed by just four firefighters, which the FBU says is dangerous to public safety.

FBU Greater Manchester brigade secretary Gary Keary said: “The safety of firefighters and our communities are the FBU’s greatest concern.

“The FBU is firmly opposed to engines being crewed by just four firefighters and opposed to all cuts to front-line fire cover.

“We have, for too long, seen the decimation of our fire service resulting from budget cuts and must fight against any further deterioration.”

Greater Manchester TUC president Stephen Hall said: “Instead of doing the government’s dirty work for them, the Greater Manchester Fire Authority should be doing its utmost to prevent any further cuts to this essential public service.”

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