Fire brigades spend £17,000 on decorating engines in rainbow colours

Fury after fire brigades spend GBP17,000 of taxpayers' money on decorating engines in LGBT rainbow colours

  • Three fire brigades spent GBP17k on painting fire engines in LGBT rainbow colours
  • Oxfordshire, Dorset & Wiltshire and Suffolk have spent thousands since 2017
  • Tom Ryan of the TaxPayers' Alliance said pricey paint jobs don't help save lives

By Oliver Price For Mailonline

Published: 14:11, 3 September 2022 | Updated: 15:58, 3 September 2022

Fire brigades have been told to 'fight fires not culture wars' after it was revealed they spent over GBP17,000 painting fire engines in rainbow colours.

The colourful paint jobs were approved by several fire and rescue service chiefs  across England since 2017 in inclusivity and recruitment drives.

The rainbow flag has been used a symbol of LGBT pride since the late 1970s.

The highest spending fire brigade on rainbow painted fire engines was by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, who spent GBP4,320.

'Fight fires not culture wars': Fire brigades have spent over GBP17,000 painting fire engines in a rainbow colours 'Fight fires not culture wars': Fire brigades have spent over GBP17,000 painting fire engines in a rainbow colours

'Fight fires not culture wars': Fire brigades have spent over GBP17,000 painting fire engines in a rainbow colours

The colourful paint jobs were approved by several fire and rescue service chiefs across England since 2017 in inclusivity and recruitment drives The colourful paint jobs were approved by several fire and rescue service chiefs across England since 2017 in inclusivity and recruitment drives

The colourful paint jobs were approved by several fire and rescue service chiefs across England since 2017 in inclusivity and recruitment drives

This expensive paint job came from the service's annual budget which was GBP23.2million in 2020/21.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue spent around a thousand pounds less, paying GBP3,390 in the last few years.

The service has an annual budget of around GBP61million in 2022/23, rising from GBP58.5m in 2021/22.

Spending on rainbow-themed designs on fire engines was GBP2,284 at Suffolk Fire and Rescue, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Sun.

Suffolk fire brigade's annual budget for 2019/20 was around GBP21.5million. 

Across the country, around GBP35,000 more has been spent on rainbow items including flags.

Tom Ryan, from the thinktank the TaxPayers' Alliance said that fire chiefs need to recognise that 'expensive rainbow wrappings' do not help deliver 'heroic life-saving' fire fighting services we all need to save us in crisis. Pictured: A firefighter inspects a building as firefighters tackle a blaze which broke out near Southwark Bridge and London Bridge Station earlier this month Tom Ryan, from the thinktank the TaxPayers' Alliance said that fire chiefs need to recognise that 'expensive rainbow wrappings' do not help deliver 'heroic life-saving' fire fighting services we all need to save us in crisis. Pictured: A firefighter inspects a building as firefighters tackle a blaze which broke out near Southwark Bridge and London Bridge Station earlier this month

Tom Ryan, from the thinktank the TaxPayers' Alliance said that fire chiefs need to recognise that 'expensive rainbow wrappings' do not help deliver 'heroic life-saving' fire fighting services we all need to save us in crisis.

Pictured: A firefighter inspects a building as firefighters tackle a blaze which broke out near Southwark Bridge and London Bridge Station earlier this month

Tom Ryan (pictured), from the TaxPayers' Alliance slammed the spending saying that taxpayers 'are being ripped off in the rush to be right on' Tom Ryan (pictured), from the TaxPayers' Alliance slammed the spending saying that taxpayers 'are being ripped off in the rush to be right on'

Tom Ryan (pictured), from the TaxPayers' Alliance slammed the spending saying that taxpayers 'are being ripped off in the rush to be right on'

Tom Ryan, from thinktank the TaxPayers' Alliance slammed the spending saying that taxpayers 'are being ripped off in the rush to be right on'.

He said that fire chiefs need to recognise that 'expensive rainbow wrappings' do not help deliver 'heroic life-saving' fire fighting services we all need to save us in crisis.

Fire services should 'fight fires not culture wars,' he said.

Oxfordshire County Council told the Sun that its rainbow paintjob used on one of their older fire engines contributed to its 'equality, diversity and inclusion' goals.

Rainbow colours were chosen by Dorset & Wiltshire to 'promote inclusivity' and that the rainbow designs were 'beyond its operational'.

Dorset & Wilts said its decoration was 'beyond its operational' and rainbow colours were chosen 'to promote inclusivity'.

The colourful designs were a 'relatively cheap way to advertise' according to Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

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