Firefighters welcome Labour manifesto commitment to increase frontline numbers

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warmly welcomed commitments made in the Labour Party manifesto for greater investment in the fire and rescue service.

The manifesto, published today (16 May), confirms that Labour will recruit at least 3,000 new frontline firefighters, give fire services in England a statutory duty to tackle flooding and guarantee that Police and Crime Commissioners will not be given control over fire services.

Labour will also abolish the public sector pay cap that has meant firefighters are on average £2,000 worse off than they were in 2010. The manifesto also sets out plans to repeal the Trade Union Act that will mean less bureaucracy for unions trying to represent their members.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “There are clear dividing lines for who to vote for in this election. Labour will invest in firefighters in order to keep people safe, whereas the Tories will continue to cut and decimate our service, putting public safety at risk.

“Having 3,000 more firefighters on the frontline is a promising start, and we welcome their commitment to review staffing levels across the service as a whole.

“Fire deaths have risen for the first time in 20 years since the Tories came to power, and response times to emergencies are getting slower. The service is in crisis and the Tories don’t have a plan to save it. Labour are the safe pair of hands who will deliver a properly resourced fire service to protect public safety.”

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