HAMPSHIRE firefighters are to stage a fresh series of strikes over eight days next month in their long-running dispute over pensions.

The Fire Brigades Union has been holding series of strikes over the past year in protest against government changes which it maintains will lead to firefighters working longer and having their pensions cut.

The FBU has accused the Government of refusing to hold discussions to try to break the deadlock.

The latest strikes, from August 9, will be held for a few hours each day, between 12pm and 2pm and 10.59pm and 11.59pm.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “It is absolutely ludicrous that a government can impose a scheme which means that firefighters will have to ride engines and rescue people from fires up to age 60.

“This is unsafe and unrealistic for both firefighters and the public.

“We know it, and the public know it, but the Government will not listen to the evidence based case we have made to them.”