Catering jobs cut at stations

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COOKS at the borough’s fire stations are to be axed by the brigade as part of swingeing budget cuts.

More than 60 catering staff who work for Greater Manchester (GM) Fire and Rescue Service - including Atherton, Leigh, Wigan and Hindley fire stations - are losing their jobs.

However kitchen workers at the brigade’s technical support workshops in Leigh look to have been saved.

The move is part of a package of cost-saving measures as the service faces a cut in funding of up to £23m over the next four years.

Peter Taylor, from the Fire Brigades Union said: “It is disappointing that some of the lowest paid staff are taking the brunt of the cuts.

“Front-line fire crews are just as entitled to a decent meal as managers at headquarters.”

Fire authority chairman Paul Shannon said: “It is hard to justify catering in stations where there might be a watch of as few as five people.”

Out of 77 catering jobs, 63 will go. The 14 that remain will be those at the workshop in Leigh as well as the brigade’s Pendlebury headquarters and its training centre in Manchester.

Fire chiefs said the decision to retain catering at those sites was justified because hundreds of staff were based there and in total, 140 back room jobs will go in the service as a whole.