I AGREE with the Fire Brigades Union (Rates relief hope to save fire crews, August 21). Our two MPs need to get a grip and challenge the gross underfunding of Fire and Rescue Services in Herefordshire, and advise the public just what they will do to get the finance to run a full service.

The union might also care to question the waste of taxpayers’ money on Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRA).

In the Hereford and Worcester area, the FRA has, for the last three years, consisted of 25 members, whose combined cost to the taxpayer has been over £50,000 per annum. Each member is a councillor so why can’t deal with issues relating to the Fire and Rescue Service, without the need for a specific body that just adds cost?

Cllr Derek Prodger, who heads up the FRA in this neck of the woods, has said he sees no reason to change FRA, nor does he agree with my suggestion that the FRA should be disbanded to save money.

Hereford and Worcester councils could, if they are serious about demonstrating that they put taxpayers’ money to good use, abolish the FRA , make the chief fire officer report directly to one person representing both councils, and use the £50,000 running cost of the FRA to fund something that will save lives – such as a fire engine or a firefighter.

GRAHAM CARPENTER Oldfields Close, Leominster