Categories: Featured News

FBU calls on Labour ‘government in waiting’ to boost flood defence funding

Share this content


In recent developments, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called on Keir Starmer, the Labour Party leader, to restore funding for the fire and rescue service to the 2010 levels.

This call comes as flooding incidents have surged across the UK.

Firefighters: Essential to flood defence

Firefighters play a critical role in flood responses, particularly in constituencies that the Labour Party aims to secure.

However, the fire service has faced significant challenges in recent times, with FBU general secretary, Matt Wrack, highlighting: “More than a decade of Tory cuts has left the fire service overwhelmed, underfunded and badly managed.”

Impact of austerity on flood response

The effects of these cuts are evident as Wrack pointed out: “Firefighters are the frontline of flood response.

“The last few days have laid bare the damage austerity has done to our ability to protect communities from this growing threat.

“We have lost 1 in 5 firefighter jobs since 2010, and a large number of stations and fire engines. Response times are now at record highs.”

As the launch of ‘The Firefighters’ Manifesto’ approaches next week, outlining the future for the fire service, the union is eager for Starmer and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves to take action.

Wrack added: “Labour is a government in waiting and communities are looking to it to restore funding to vital public services.

“The Labour leadership must ‘step-up’ now and commit to reverse the 13 years of cuts made to the fire service since 2010 in the infancy of Labour’s first term.

“The Fire Brigades Union will make it loud and clear at the launch of our ‘Firefighters’ Manifesto’ next Wednesday that we expect the next government to deliver on these priorities.

“Anything less could mean families and communities being failed by another generation of politicians.”

IFSJ Comment

The ongoing debate surrounding funding for the fire and rescue service in the UK underscores the critical role that firefighters play in flood defence and the broader safety framework.

The restoration of funding could significantly bolster the nation’s ability to respond to natural disasters.

The Fire Brigades Union’s plea for financial support sheds light on the growing concerns of emergency responders and their ability to protect communities.

As the conversation progresses, it is becoming imperative for decision-makers to prioritise and address these pressing needs.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox