This week in Parliament I asked the Home Secretary to think again about demands for pension repayments from the Tyne and Wear Fire Service.
Our fire service has already lost hundreds of firefighters since 2010 as a direct result of Government cuts, and firefighters who risk their lives to keep us safe are facing a pay cap for the foreseeable future.
I’m really worried that the Home Office’s demands for the service to pay back £10 million it claimed to pay their workers’ pensions would leave the service even more stretched and could have dangerous consequences.
That’s why I’m in the process of arranging a meeting with Nick Hurd, the Minister responsible for this area of Government policy. I will be seeking the assurances that people in my city need.
I can assure people in Sunderland and the wider region that I will always fight to protect our fire service so they can continue protecting us all.