I think our Fire and Rescue Service does a good job in Hertfordshire. Last week 2 other Hertfordshire MPs Richard Harrington, James Clappison and I had a meeting in Parliament with representatives of the Hertfordshire Fire Brigade Union. The main issues raised were the proposed pensions’ changes, early retirement of firemen on health grounds and their fitness to work to age 60 years. A number of Fire Brigade constituents have written to me about these matters and it was very helpful to hear first hand concerns about them. I will raise their points with the relevant Minister and give his response to the FBU in due course.
The background is that we are all living longer and many private sector firms as well as the public sector have had to make future changes to pension scheme benefits to reflect this. Lord Hutton the former Labour Cabinet Minister advised the Government and suggested reforms to public sector pensions and there have been negotiations since for each scheme.