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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 December 2018

Socialist Party argues against fire service cuts at Tyne and Wear consultation

  (Click to enlarge)

Peter Robson, Tyne and Wear Socialist Party

At the first consultation session about Tyne and Wear fire service cuts on 21 November I was not reassured one bit about the proposals management have put forward for this service.

There were glossy leaflets and literature handed out to the fifty-strong audience, made up of firefighters - retired and serving - along with members of the public. From the start Alan Robson, assistant chief fire officer, tried hopelessly to allay fears but the anger from people was instantly palpable.

The opening line in the leaflet says: "Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is 'creating the safest community' and our mission is to save lives, reduce risks, provide humanitarian support and protect the environment". Well, not with these cuts you won't as one firefighter pointed out!

I was also staggered when Mr Robson (no relation) pointed out that Wallsend station, one of the most deprived wards in the country has one fire engine that finishes at 8pm. The expectation is that if there is a fire and I am burning to death in my house after 8pm, they will contact firefighters and ask them to get to the station as soon as possible.

We were keen to point out to the audience that this was not a criticism of firefighters who have commendably taken strike action in recent years over similar issues but more directed at the management and politicians, who if they have their way, will close the Washington New Town station with the nearest some five miles away!

Finally, it was disclosed that the fire authority, who were ominous by their absence, have 28 million in reserves. We should not even be having these consultations as one person pointed out. When we pointed out that no cuts at all are necessary there was a good response.

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In The Socialist 5 December 2018:


What we think

Corbyn and trade union movement urgently need to fight for a general election to kick out the Tories


International socialist news and analysis

France: mass demonstrations force president to back down

Midwives go on strike in New Zealand


Socialist Party feature

The growth of artificial intelligence technology


Workplace news and analysis

PCS AGS election: Where now after the PCS Left Unity conference?

Blairite Birmingham steps up union-busting and two workforces plan strikes

Victory! Grimethorpe dinner ladies' strike beats job cuts

Victory for left in RMT union president election

WHSmith: hands off our Post Offices!

Bradford College joins #FEfightback strike for decent pay

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Austerity: not one more day - Tories out now

Health bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

Northamptonshire council crisis continues

Arrogant landlords can be beaten

Fatal bus crash - an avoidable tragedy

Racist attack in Huddersfield


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight Cardiff Council's school cuts

Join the march through Woking against austerity

Fighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

Socialist Party argues against fire service cuts at Tyne and Wear consultation

Leeds TUC conference to organise fight against austerity

West Midlands Socialist Party women's meeting: our role in changing society

Socialist Students conference date set


 

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