CITY councillors are being urged to back the campaign against grant cuts for local fire services by pressing the Government for a better deal.

Liberal Democrat councillors intend to propose a motion at full council on January 24, calling for Whitehall to honour a fair funding settlement for the North Yorkshire Fire Authority.

As previously reported in The Press, the authority faces below-inflation grant increases for 2008-11 of only one per cent for this year and just 0.5 per cent for the next two years. The Government's decision is expected later this month.

Lib Dem councillor, Jonathan Morley, who is on the fire authority steering group, said: "It is a post-code lottery. In some parts of the country the level of Government funding is significantly higher. There has been no explanation about the discrepancy in funding between North Yorkshire and many other fire authorities.

"With 80 per cent of our funding going on pay, which is likely to go up roughly in line with inflation, the poor funding settlement is bound to affect our fire service."

Coun Keith Hyman, another authority member, highlighted that some previously Government-funded services would now be expected to be funded by the fire authority.

These include the provision and installation of smoke alarms, and appliances that are held as a regional resource, like the decontamination unit at Acomb, York.