‘Extreme heat fuelled by climate change’

The importance of funding local fire and rescue services for potential risk rather than just day-to-day demand was demonstrated by July’s heatwave, the LGA has said.

Temperatures reached over 40C for the first time in the UK, leading the Met Office to issue an unprecedented Red Extreme Heat Alert for 18-19 July across large parts of England and Wales.

Wildfires broke out across the capital and elsewhere, with fire and rescue services in London, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, South Yorkshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Suffolk, Nottinghamshire and Humberside among those that declared major incidents. 

Councils provided additional visits to support the most vulnerable and emergency support for people sleeping rough, and deployed gritting fleets to keep roads running safely.  

Cllr Ian Stephens, Chair of the LGA’s Fire Services Management Committee, said the pressures fire and rescue services faced demonstrated “the importance of continuing to fund them for potential risk rather than just day-to–day demand”. 

LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson said councils had again shown how vital they are to keeping communities safe during emergencies.

He added: “The general consensus is that July’s extreme heat was fuelled by climate change, which is making heatwaves more intense, frequent and likely. 

“It is our communities that will continue to be impacted by rising temperatures. Councils’ roles as place-shapers, convenors of communities and local partners, asset-owners, problem solvers and significant purchasers puts us at the forefront of delivering real, tangible changes in the transition to net zero. 

“We continue to call on government to work with councils as partners in tackling climate change.” 


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