Tea and biscuits off menu in South Yorkshire fire service cuts

CANCELLING coffee, tea and biscuits at meetings has helped save £17,000 from the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s hospitality budget.

And South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s water bills have been cut by £11,000 a year by not washing engines as often.

SYFR was also £32,000 better off after renegotiating the contract for equipment used to cut people free of crashed cars.

And more than £2,200 per annum is being saved by booking rail travel in advance rather than open tickets.

SYFR’s budget has fallen by £7 million since 2010, during which time savings of £2 million have been found away from the frontline.

Staff suggested using a lubricant to loosen seized spindles on water hydrants rather than automatically replacing them. This reined in £26,000 in just a year.

Scrapping four senior management posts — including one director — has saved around £370,000 per year.

A recruitment freeze, restructure and voluntary redundancy process has cut support staff by a sixth, saving more than £500,000.

Other efficiency gains have been made by axing the staff awards, community magazine and staff newsletter.

Income has been generated by training Qatari firefighters, hosting the GB women’s

Olympic volleyball team and maintaining fire extinguishers at councils, schools and hospitals.