Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/634/10065
Fighting fire service cuts
Thirty local residents and trade unionists attended the Socialist Party's public meeting in Penarth, south Wales which was called about 15 jobs threatened from three fire stations as part of the misnamed 'risk reduction plan'.
Katrine Williams, president of Cardiff trades council and Socialist Party member, explained that the cuts were not inevitable and an effective campaign could be mounted to oppose the cuts.
Local firefighters outlined the extent to which the proposals would impact on the community and the firefighters' personal lives, with the proposed introduction of 96-hour shifts.
The normally quiet seaside town of Penarth is outraged by the announcement that 18 jobs could go. In less than one week Socialist Party members collected over 500 signatures opposing the cuts and sold over 120 copies of The Socialist.
At the meeting there was an enthusiastic response to the setting up of a local fire service support group, supporting the FBU's fight to save jobs and services.
There were suggestions to immediately lobby both local councillors and councillors on South Wales fire authority as the first steps in the community's opposition to the proposed cuts. For further info contact Rob on 07541 145108
Over 200 firefighters and people from towns in Warwickshire gathered outside Warwickshire County Council's meeting on 22 July to protest at their plans to close three local fire stations.
The Tory run council had previously wanted to close seven stations and on the day they reduced their closure programme to three which shows that vigorous campaigning, as seen across this county, can have an effect.
But firefighters are still angry. In common with people in Warwickshire they see the council as endangering people. Mark Rattray, brigade secretary of the FBU said that David "Cameron promised he wouldn't cut frontline services, but what's more frontline than firefighters and fire engines?"
The decision was preceded by a political farce. Three local Tory MPs said they were against cuts, yet their Tory council voted for them - but not all Tory councillors did!
So fire stations in Warwick, Studley and Brinklow are set for closure.
The FBU will now move to ballot for industrial action to continue their opposition to closures and a council risking the lives of both the public and firefighters. The campaign across Warwickshire must continue.
In The Socialist 4 August 2010:
War and occupation
Workplace news and analysis
Youth fight for jobs
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party LGBT
Socialist Party events
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Review & Comment