DORSET and Wiltshire's chief fire officer has backed calls for a pay rise for his firefighters.

Ben Ansell's comments came as senior fire chiefs across the country urged government to increase funding for UK fire services.

It follows ongoing talks between the Fire Brigades Union and the National Joint Council for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services.

Yesterday, it was agreed discussions over a potential pay rise would be paused, with union chiefs saying it was unlikely government would no agree a new funding settlement for fire services this year.

Ben Ansell, chief fire officer for the Wiltshire service, wrote on Twitter: "I fully support a decent pay rise for all my staff including operational Firefighters. The challenge as [Dany Cotton, London Fire Brigade commissioner, Lancashire chief fire officer Justin Johnston, and Chris Blacksell, Huberside chief fire officer] and others have said is ensuring it is adequately funded. Otherwise, we risk having to make further cuts in order to afford it."