KEIGHLEY firefighters are set to walk out for 24 hours as part an ongoing dispute over planned pension changes.

They are due to take part in a national strike by members of the Fire Brigades' Union (FBU), starting at 9am on Thursday, June 12.

And a further stoppage is scheduled for June 21, from 10am to 5pm.

Thursday's strike will be the longest so far in the FBU's programme of industrial action, which began last year in opposition to a proposed increase in employee pension contributions and the raising of the retirement age to 60.

West Yorkshire brigade bosses admit the latest walkout will pose a serious challenge.

Only about half the usual fleet of 54 appliances will be available, and cover will be provided by non-strikers and temporary crews.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said: “We are very disappointed that a resolution to this ongoing dispute between the FBU and government has not been found.

“Although we have tried and tested contingency plans, there is no escaping the fact that we will have less skilled resources available during this prolonged period.

“The level of cover and the standard of expertise at our disposal during strike will be significantly reduced, therefore I urge the public to take note of this and do its bit to help us by staying vigilant.”