Socialist Worker

Hertfordshire firefighters' anti-cuts protest

Issue No. 1991

Hertfordshire firefighters (Pic: FBU)

Hertfordshire firefighters (Pic: FBU)

Firefighters from Hertfordshire protested outside Downing Street against cuts on Wednesday of last week. They demonstrated rather than take part in a reception put on to acknowledge the 600 firefighters who tackled the Buncefield oil depot fire in Hemel Hempstead last December.

Hertfordshire fire service is pushing ahead with plans to cut 50 jobs and close two fire stations.

Tony Smith, vice-chair of the FBU firefighters’ union in Herts, said, “We have no criticism of our colleagues who feel pressured to attend this reception, but we take exception to politicians basking in the success of our hard work one minute and sacking us the next.

“There is nothing to celebrate in Downing Street when the shadow of significant cuts hangs over our fire service.”

Strike action threatened by firefighters in Lancashire against cuts was called off last week after an agreement, details of which were due to be announced this week.

The union is also challenging cuts in Norfolk. The council is planning to cut full time firefighters in Thetford and replace them with part time “retained” members who are only called out in an emergency.

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Sat 11 Mar 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1991
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