Socialist Worker

Firefighters sound the alarm over new cuts

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2483

fbu union members protest outside London City Hall on Wednesday of last week.

Firefighters protest outside London City Hall on Wednesday of last week. (Pic: Guy Smallman)


FBU union members protested outside City Hall in south London on Wednesday of last week.

They were lobbying the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority over plans to scrap 13 fire engines and axe 200 jobs.

Cuts to the London fire service in 2014 saw 14 engines and 500 jobs slashed, as well as the closure of 10 stations. The fire authority says the further cuts will “save” some £11 million.

London region FBU official Gareth Beeton told Socialist Worker, “Depending on what happens today at the fire authority, it could lead to industrial action.”

Meanwhile, FBU members in North Yorkshire were set to hold a lobby outside a meeting of their fire authority on Wednesday of this week.

Fire bosses want to replace as many as six fire engines with smaller Tactical Response Vehicles, which carry less equipment and only two crew members.

North Yorkshire FBU secretary Steve Howley told Socialist Worker, “It’s all about finding £1.5 million. It’s lazy management. Anyone can reduce whole time jobs. It’s effectively closing down stations.

“There’s already been a 25 percent reduction in whole time staff since 2004. This will be a further 25 percent reduction.”

The lobby was set to start at 9.30 am outside the firefighters’ training centre in Easingwold, near York.


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