I was astonished to read the story Lib Dem concern for future of fire service (Watford Observer, November 16).

Writing in The Independent on June 5, 2017, Andrew Scattergood, Chair of the Fire Brigades Union, said, ‘In England, the average response to primary fires has increased by 31 seconds since 2010/2011. I cannot emphasise enough how seconds count when fire fighting. A few seconds can be the difference between saving a life or not.

Since 2010, over 10,000 firefighters have been axed; dozens of fire stations closed; fire engines have been scrapped; and emergency rescue equipment has been slashed. Fire service budgets have been reduced by 30 per cent across the UK, with a further 20 per cent of cuts expected by 2020.’

The Lib Dems were in coalition government with the Tories between 2010 and 2015.

The Lib Dems should have been expressing concern at that time instead of wholeheartedly supporting the Tory cuts.

Their belated “concern” now over fire service cuts is all far too shallow to be taken at all seriously.

John Dowdle

St Mary’s Place, Watford