Essex Fire Service plans for budget cuts

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service says it's planning for a 10 per cent cut in its funding as a worst-case scenario - ahead of tomorrow's emergency budget by the Government.

To save £7.5 million the brigade's reviewing front-line resources like where fire engines and stations are located.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Gordon Hunter, head of Service Delivery, said: "While some of this can be found from ‘back office’ functions, it is not feasible to respond to a financial challenge of this magnitude without also considering front line resource allocation as well."

"ECFRS has therefore identified the need to undertake a Service-wide review of station locations and appliance deployments to ensure that the use of resources is optimised."

"The main outcomes of this work will be recommendations for station configuration and a deployment strategy with full supporting evidence.

"An example would be if new station locations are recommended as part of the improved network of stations, then site search location maps will be provided that can be used by land agents in searching for available sites.

"It is anticipated that this work will take 3-4 months and will be reported back to the Fire Authority at its meeting in November 2010."