Amber Rudd was yesterday forced to admit that the government had cut the number of firefighters – just months after chief fire officers warned that further budget cuts pose a risk to community safety.
Official figures revealed last year showed the biggest increase in fire deaths for a decade. Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 294 people died in fires in England during 2015, an increase of 21 per cent.
The figures coincide with numbers revealed yesterday that there are now 20 per cent less firefighters since 2010.
Tam McFarlane of South West FBU said: “Since the coalition government came to power we have seen massive cuts not just nationally but here in Plymouth that have compromised the safety of both firefighters and the public.”