The ACC has published a 'table of shame' showing the impact of cuts worth 5% in real terms in 1997-98. The association insists that disaster preparations will suffer as local authorities are forced to curtail training programmes and pare down emergency exercises.
Councils now receive about 30% less for civil defence than they did in 1991. Government grant for England and Wales is £14.9 million this year, down from £22.4m five years ago.
New unitaries will receive just £35,000 each to cope with their new civil defence responsibilities. The three biggest county civil defence authorities, Essex, Kent and Lancashire, will each see their grants cut from £336,000 to £329,280 under the proposed allocation for 1997-98.
Mick Warner, the association's fire and emergency planning chair, said: 'It is a sad state of affairs when the government puts less money into public protection than Newcastle United paid for one footballer.'