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Cheshire's Fire Brigade Union says the feeling among firefighters in the county at the moment is one of "dejection" and "anger."

Cheshire’s Chief Fire Officer has reportedly received a pay rise of £3,000 – at a time when the service is looking making £3.8 million pounds worth of savings by 2020.

The local Fire Brigade’s Union says its “shocking.”

Andrew Fox Hewitt, its Secretary, explains how the figures came to light, “Every year there’s a number of fire authority committees and the Brigade and Pay Committee have approved the pay and bonuses for this year for the Chief Fire Officer and the Deputy Chief Fire Officer – which are known as principal Fire Officers.

“Also within the archives, you can go back to 2013 where you can see that these rises and bonuses have been made each year.

“To see the leaders of our organisation accept rises that are on top of the 1% pay cap as well as bonuses – the members are telling us it’s absolutely staggering.”

The claims are that Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock was awarded a 2% pay rise worth more than £3,000 to bring his total annual salary to £155,890.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin reportedly received a rise of more than £2,500.

‘One off” bonuses worth around £4,676 and £3,993 respectively have also been claimed to have been paid to the principal officers.

A spokesperson for Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service said, “Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service restructured its senior management team last year which resulted in the reduction of the number of principal officers from three to two with the removal of the Assistant Chief Officer post.

“The pay of the Service’s remaining two principal officers is reviewed annually by the Brigade Managers Pay and Performance Committee. At their meeting on January 10, Members agreed to award a 2% pay rise to the Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive and the Deputy Chief Fire Officer to recognise their operational cover duties and additional responsibilities.”

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