FBU slams proposals for massive cuts in Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service – 250313 1355z

The FBU has slammed proposals for massive cuts in devon & somerset fire & rescue service.

The cuts would see the loss of around 140 frontline firefighter posts, the downgrading of six fire engines, the downgrading of a vital aerial appliance and the downgrading of 3 fire stations; amongst other cuts.

The Union has condemned the cuts as too far saying that they will compromise public safety and pointing to the recent floods as an example of the rescue capability that will be compromised. A public consultation is now underway and the Union is organising a large public and political campaign of opposition.

This, from the FBUs website:

A public consultation has started into plans to make massive cuts in Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service tell Politicians NO more cuts in the Fire Service.

The Fire Brigades Union is urging the public to protest against the most savage cuts ever planned to their local fire and rescue service.The coalition government has reduced its grant to Devon and Somerset fire and rescue service by 10.3% for the year 2013/14 and 7.3% for the year 2014/15. This means a loss of 3.4 million in the next financial year and 2.1 million the following, cuts three times more savage than any ever imposed on the service before, by any previous government, andgives the lie to Minister Eric Pickles claim that the fire and rescue service is somehow being protected.

On 18 January, the fire authority and fire service senior managers put forward proposals for public consultation, including a set of cuts that would see fire appliances removed from local communities.

The planned cuts include:

  • Removal of around 150 Whole Time Firefighter Posts (20% of the wholetime workforce);
  • Downgrading WT cover at Torquay & Taunton by H ALF;
  • Removing 1 WT from Camelshead to make it RDS at Crownhill;
  • Downgrading the 1 pump WT shift Stations at Plympton and Plymstock to RDS only;
  • Downgrading the WT Day Crew Station at Ilfracombe to RDS only;
  • Downgrading the aerial appliance at Crownhill Fire Station to dual crew

The FBU has organised a significant campaign of opposition and every member is being asked to play a full part. Leaflets have been printed which tell the public what the plans will actually mean and how dangerous the Union thinks they are. These leaflets are designed for use in local areas and although they have the same front cover, the text on the back is aimed at specific areas in Torquay Ilfracombe Taunton Plymouth. There is also a generic leaflet for use throughout Devon and Somerset. All these leaflets are attached, together with the front cover. Firefighters will be handing them out to the public and asking them to register their protest by emailing, writing or calling during the consultation. Your voice is important: if you live, work or visit Devon & Somerset then please have your say. Tell the consultation that there should be no frontline cuts in any of the following ways:


Telephone: 01392 872354
Post: Consultation Officer DSFRS Headquarters,Clyst St George,Exeter Devon EX3 0NW

Fax: 01392 872300
(Marked for the attention of the Consultation Officer)

Email: ConsultationOfficer@dsfire.gov.uk
Twitter: @DSFireUpdates
Facebook: Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service

And this, from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.

Have Your Say

Our draft plan 2013/14 to 2014/15

Are you interested in the future of your fire and rescue service? If you are, then read on.

We are currently facing the biggest change to public sector funding for some time. The Government grant we receive has been reduced by 10.3% in 2013 and a further 7.3% in 2014. This means that we will have approximately £5.5m less grant by 2014. As such, we will be unable to operate in the same as we do now.

To read more about how we plan to approach this budget shortfall and see how the proposals are part of a new way of working we call Integrated Approach you can download:

  • Our Draft Plan for 2013/14 to 2014/15: click here

We believe that our proposals will not only minimise the impact of the budget reduction but will also maintain or improve existing levels of public safety and the effectiveness of our emergency response.

Supporting documents

In preparing our proposals we have analysed a lot of information. Due to the amount of information available, we included summaries in Our Draft Plan. However we feel it is important that the un-summarised information is available and we have provided this in the format of the Briefing Sheets below.

Briefing sheet Document link
Plymouth briefing sheet proposals 6 & 7 Click here
Taunton briefing sheet proposal 9 Click here
Torquay briefing sheet proposal 10 Click here
Ilfracombe briefing sheet proposal 11 Click here

We have also undertaken Equality Risks and Benefits Assessments for the proposed changes to crewing arrangements. These assessments are important as they consider if any groups within the community are unfairly disadvantaged by the proposals.

ERBA Document link
Torquay Community Click here
Employee Changes Click here
Standard Fire Engines Click here
Co-responder Changes Click here
Taunton Community Click here
Plymouth Community Click here
Contracts Click here
Ilfracombe Community Click here

For notes on changing the size of fonts or translating the content of this website: click here

Having your say

We have produced a consultation document explaining the key changes on which we would like your opinions. This document contains a short survey which can either be returned through the post to the address below, or completed online.

We are also interested in your opinions on the other proposals in Our Draft Plan which are not included in the consultation document.

  • Information on these other proposals can be found in Our Draft Plan and also on a second online survey:
    click here

Comments on the whole Our Draft Plan document can also be registered by returning comments in any of the ways listed below.

As part of the consultation we have arranged several discussion groups around Devon and Somerset to give the opportunity to discuss proposals in more depth with fire officers. Below is a link to an invitation for these groups: if you would like to attend, please fill in the form and return it to our Freepost address, or let us know by email or telephone on the details given below, and we will send you further details.

  • To download the invitation to our Consultation Discussion Groups click here

The consultation period began on 28 January 2013 and ends on 22 April 2013. The final report containing the findings of the consultation is due to be presented to Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority in July 2013.

Below is a link to a poster that can be printed if you would like to help increase awareness of the proposed changes and the consultation. If you would like us to send you a paper copy of the poster, please contact the Consultation Officer on the details below.

For notes on changing the size of fonts or translating the content of this website: click here

Contact us

Email: ConsultationOfficer@dsfire.gov.uk
Post: Consultation Officer
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service HQ
Clyst St George
Telephone: 01392 872354
Fax: 01392 872300 (marked for the attention of the Consultation Officer)
Twitter @DSFireupdates
Facebook Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service


You can access our epetition site to create a petition or to sign an existing petition through the external link below:



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