Socialist Worker

FBU campaigns against fire station closures

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2084

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has kicked off the new year with a series of campaigns against fire station closures around the country.

Some 300 people marched in Falmouth on 5 January to protest against plans drawn up by Cornwall County Council that threaten night cover at stations in Falmouth and Camborne.

The Liberal Democrat-run council announced last week that an expected final decision on the station closures had been put on hold.

“We are going to continue our campaign to retain 24-hour cover at Falmouth and Camborne fire stations, regardless of the council which is not prepared to make a commitment,” said Mike Tremellen, chair of Cornwall FBU.

The FBU has also hit out at fire service cuts in Humberside, where the fire authority wants to make budget cuts of £4 million over the next three years. It plans to close down four stations – Sledmere, Waltham, Kirton Lindsey and Hull Central – and downgrade two others.

The union is warning that cuts and closures in Cleveland could lead to disaster. Cleveland has the highest concentration of major accident hazard sites in Europe.

Despite this, the fire authority is looking to make £2.1 million in cuts by closing or downgrading stations and cutting the number of firefighters on appliances.

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Tue 15 Jan 2008, 17:58 GMT
Issue No. 2084
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