OXFORDSHIRE’S firefighters will not go on strike today following negotiations between unionists and the Government.

The Fire Brigade’s Union has called off industrial action that was due to take place between 6.30pm and 11.30pm following a dispute over pay and pension reforms.

Firefighters across the county were due to walk out over plans to increase their retirement age from 55 to 60.

Dave Etheridge, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “I’m obviously pleased that the FBU has called off this strike action as it means that Oxfordshire’s public will again have a fully functioning fire and rescue service at its disposal.

“We had plans in place to deal with the proposed action and if it had gone ahead then it was guaranteed that every emergency 999 fire call would have been answered in Oxfordshire – the strike has been averted however and I am sure the public will be as glad of this, as am I.”

This would have been the second strike by the FBU in less than a month, with a walk-out for four hours last month.

The county council normally has 34 fire engines available across Oxfordshire, of which 25 were available during the last strike.