Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/990/27178
The Socialist 11 April 2018 |
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Fighting fire cuts in Wirral
Labour-run Merseyside fire authority wants to close Wallasey fire station (Click to enlarge)
Mark Hazelhurst, Wirral Socialist Party
On our 31 March campaign stall to prevent the night time closure of Wallasey fire station, a careless passer-by dropped a cigarette into a litter bin. No sooner than the first few puffs of smoke emanated from the bin, a fire engine arrived to extinguish it.
I don't know who was more delighted to see each other, us or them, as we had visited the fire station on three occasions to show them our campaign leaflet and petition and offer our support. Within three minutes we met the Fire Brigades Union shop steward Howard and a further three of his colleagues.
The closure of Wallasey station will put five or ten minutes on response times to the Wallasey area, and sooner or later will inevitably cost lives. The decision to carry out this closure has been taken by Merseyside fire authority made up almost entirely of Labour councillors.
They have been responsible for cutting fire engine provision across the region almost in half while they sit on unallocated reserves in excess of £12 million. Unbelievably one of the Wirral Labour members of the fire authority, Brian Kenny, put a motion before Wirral council condemning the cuts to the fire service recently, the same Brian Kenny that put his hand up to make them not 12 months ago!
The local Labour councillors in Wirral have been responsible for devastating cuts to jobs and services for well over a decade. This is why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will be standing three candidates in the May elections, a taxi driver, a striking rail guard and a postal worker.