Firefighters go on strike

Firefighters are set to strike today

Firefighters are set to strike today - Credit: Archant

Firefighters in Comet country are due to stop work for four hours today (Wednesday) as they join a national strike in protest at proposed pension changes.

Derek McLeod of the Hertfordshire branch of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said he expects the strike, called from noon to 4pm, will be well supported across the county as a ballot was almost unanimously in favour.

Tony Smith, Hertfordshire FBU secretary, said: “It is a sad day for all firefighters when the only option left to us is to take strike action, but unfortunately, after almost two years, we have exhausted every other possible avenue.

“All we are asking is for politicians to come to the negotiating table and sort out this mess that they have caused by pressing on with these ridiculous proposals.”

Richard Thake, Herts County Council’s executive member for community safety and planning, said: “We have been preparing for the possibility of a strike. In the event that a strike does go ahead, we will have fewer resources available, but we will respond to incidents where people’s safety is in danger. Always call 999 in the event of an emergency.”

He added: “While we recognise that there are strong feelings on both sides of this national dispute, strike action in a key public service like this can only be to the detriment of Hertfordshire’s residents. We hope that there is a speedy resolution to this dispute in the interests of all concerned.”