Trade unions in the South West have turned up the heat on two county councillors by backing FBU calls for their resignation.

The Fire Brigades Union wants county councillors David Whalley and Ken Yeo to quit, accusing them of failing to withdraw proposals to downgrade Camborne and Falmouth fire stations in the wake of the Penhallow Hotel fire at Newquay.

Regional Secretary John Drake told more than 50 trade unionists from across the region at a conference at the weekend: "Not only have these two councillors failed in their duty of care to people in Cornwall, but they also attempted to deflect the blame for the cuts on the pay rise won by firefighters. This is outrageous because the councillors - and only the councillors - have the power to take this decision.

"The firefighters they seek to blame are the same firefighters that warned them of the consequences of their actions," he added.

Nigel Costley, regional secretary said: "The truth is it wasn't just the firefighters who campaigned to keep the stations open - it was the public as well, including thousands of trade unionists from all walks of life."

The demand for resignations follows a meeting of the county council at which it was agreed that no decision on the future of Camborne and Falmouth fire stations would be made until the new year.

There now follows a lengthy period of uncertainty leaving firemen from both Camborne and Falmouth worrying about the future.

The county council have been forced into a corner following a huge campaign throughout the county to keep both stations fully manned 24 hours a day and increased pressure from the unions and the public. That campaign together with the fire in Newquay in which three people died, led to the county council decision.

There will now be a reappraisal of the county's fire service and a report on the Newquay hotel fire which should go before councillors next year.

On Friday, members of the community policy and scrutiny committee have recommended that the county's fire service should be identified as a top priority' in the three year budget 2008 / 09 to 2010 / 11.

Members also received a briefing from Chief Fire Officer Matt Littmoden about the fire service budget pressures and the Penhallow Hotel fire.

Following that briefing members agreed to recommend that an assessment of the fire service countywide should be undertaken.

For some months, the county council has claimed it has little alternative but to cut the 24 hour cover at Falmouth and Camborne because of budget cuts The two stations remain the only two fire stations left in Cornwall offering full cover. There has also been concern over the need to keep 24 hour cover in Falmouth because of the close proximity for Falmouth Docks and other maritime issues.