Ray Holmes is a socialist councillor in Shirebrook North West in Bolsover, Derbyshire. He’s standing for re-election next month and is backed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
Ray is part of a crucial campaign to stop cuts to the local fire service. The council wants to withdraw one of the two Shirebrook pumps and more than 60 firefighter jobs are at risk.
Well over 500 signatures had been collected on a petition in just two weeks.
“This is a great step forward for us,” said Ray.
“Opposition politics has been damaged in this area since Thatcher’s barbaric assault on the coal industry. But the threat to the fire service has sharpened local opinion.”
A local resident told Socialist Worker, “We are facing privatisation and the Fire Authority’s chief officers support it.
“We believe the appliances will be sold and then rented back to the authority.
“We’ve paid for the engine, kept it well maintained. It costs nothing to leave it where it is.”
Campaigners protested outside the local fire station as management met with firefighters last week.