Firefighters protest over cuts

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CROWDS of firefighters and supporters hit the streets of Leeds at the weekend to demonstrate over proposed cuts.

Protesters gathered outside Leeds Art Gallery on The Headrow on Saturday before marching through the city.

The proposed cuts include the closure of 11 fire stations, the loss of 12 appliances, 250 firefighters and 20 compulsory redundancies.

Five fire stations will be built to replace the 11 that are to be closed.

West Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union secretary David Williams said: “Firefighters are angry because these cuts will double the size of some station grounds, which in turn will slow response times.

“A few seconds’ delay can be the difference between saving a life or failing to save it.

“They want to send a message back to central government that their false promises of no cuts to frontline services is nonsense and as a result of them slashing budgets, emergency front line services are also being slashed to life-threatening levels.

“All we are asking is a fair settlement to provide a fire service that’s fit for purpose for our communities.”

Picture: Tony Johnson.