Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1028/28631

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2019

Victory! Union and community campaign reverses Wallasey fire cuts

  (Click to enlarge)

Mick Roberts, Fire Brigades Union member

The small town of Wallasey, on the Wirral, tucked away in a corner of the North West, is very much the same as any other small town, ordinary and unassuming.

But when the local fire authority tried to force through Tory cuts to the fire service by announcing its plan to remove night-time fire cover from Wallasey Fire Station, despite having 30 million in its reserves, this small town fought back.

The local Wirral Socialist Party began the campaign straight away, petitioning each week on stalls around the town centre, gaining signatures and support from the local community.

They were soon joined in the fight by the local Wirral Trade Union Council, and the local branch of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) - with regional and national executive committee reps Mark Rowe and Les Skarratts putting their weight behind the campaign.

Together all parties formed a steering committee and campaign group, Wallasey Hands Off Our Fire Station, or 'Whoofs'. We proved the old saying that it's not the size of the dog in the fight that counts, but the size of the fight in the dog.

By June or July the campaign had really started gaining momentum. Tens of thousands of local residents had signed petitions online and on stalls around the town, run by Socialist Party and FBU members. Leaflets and posters were printed off and displayed in windows of local shops more than willing to show their support.

On 14 August a public meeting at a local venue, Alfie's bar, was packed out with local residents from all walks of life, avidly showing their support and voicing their anger at the proposed cuts. The outcome of the meeting was a planned march around the town centre on 1 September.

Word of the pace the campaign was gathering soon reached the local fire authority, which in its panic brought forward the proposed cuts from January 2019 to 10 September 2018, further angering both the FBU and residents.

A meeting was called with the fire authority, FBU representatives and Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson. The authority decided to put the cuts back to January 2019. In the meantime it on the night to look into alternative proposals to keep the fire station permanently open.

Despite this, Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan ignored the agreement and pressed ahead with his proposed changes. He posted long-serving, whole-time firefighters from Wallasey to other stations, and replaced them with non-unionised firefighters prepared to work unagreed and unrecognised working patterns.

The public demonstration went ahead as planned on 1 September with hundreds turning up, old and young, to show their support. Speakers from the FBU and the Socialist Party were among those rallying the crowd.

The campaign continued to tick over through the rest of the year, ensuring Wallasey Fire Station maintained its night-time cover, albeit temporarily. Then on 24 January, after sustained pressure from an alliance of the trade unions and general public, the fire authority axed its plans to reduce fire cover!

It further announced plans to begin reversing the cuts: increasing the number of operational firefighters from 620 to 642, and fire appliances from 26 to 30, using the reserve budget it had all along. This secured a notable victory for the working class of Wallasey.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 6 February 2019:


What we think

Corbyn must prepare for a general election: Remove the pro-capitalist saboteurs - fight for the socialist alternative


Workplace news

College lecturers strike for a pay rise

University and College Union elections

PCS: Campaign for Chris Baugh for AGS

Traffic wardens' strike is just the ticket

Unison: Democracy and the right to speak out are under threat

Historic strike of nurses in Ireland

Backing for the Birmingham homecarers


News

Tory Brexit farce, Corbyn and unions: Call mass action now

Cash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

Struggling unis account for bulk of unconditional offers - end education marketisation!

Billionaires avoid paying and even talking about tax! Take the wealth off the 1%

Them & Us


Iranian revolution

40 years since the Iranian revolution: Learning the lessons for today's new working-class struggles


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Haringey 'Corbyn council' must fight borough regeneration

Victory! Campaign reverses Wallasey fire cuts

Sheffield tree campaigners' legal win

Southampton by-election

Worcestershire: save the libraries, reverse all the cuts

'Stansted 15' deportation protesters could face jail

North West Socialist Party conference


International socialist news and analysis

United States: LA teachers' strike defeats privatisers

France gilets jaunes' backed by mass strike action

Sweden: dock strikes test new government

United States: strike ends federal shutdown


Opinion

Film: Vice - Dick Cheney - a cold and calculating opportunist

Theatre: Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 February 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Wallasey:

triangleMerseyside fire authority forced to postpone night closures

triangleFighting fire cuts in Wirral

triangleWallasey Labour remains suspended despite collapse of allegations

Union:

triangleThe 45th anniversary of the strike

triangleNewham housing repairs workers announce strike dates

triangleNSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle

triangleAcademy strike - standing up to 'bullying' management forces climbdown

Fire:

triangleStop the fire service cuts

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Barking fire - two years after Grenfell

triangleAngry Barking residents protest outside sales office

Cuts:

triangleThem & Us

triangleLeicestershire - No more austerity!

FBU:

triangleStop the Devon and Somerset fire service cuts

Firefighters:

triangleWorcester: Building on our successful library campaign

Wirral:

triangleWirral Socialist Party: How Teamsters made Minneapolis a union town

Liverpool:

triangleResidents, housing activists and pensioners mobilise to stop eviction

Fire service:

triangleSouth Yorkshire: No to fire service cuts!

North West:

triangleNorth West Socialist Party conference

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/7/19

Education

Tories prepare to attack education workers' pensions

17/7/19

Hackney

Transport strike - blockade foils employers

17/7/19

NSSN

NSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle

17/7/19

Climate change

Socialist change to end climate change

17/7/19

Socialist Party

Excellent response to building fund appeal

17/7/19

Durham

Durham Miners' Gala

17/7/19

Housing

Residents mobilise to stop eviction

17/7/19

NHS

Campaigners force U-turn over NHS privatisation

17/7/19

Austerity

Leicestershire - No more austerity!

17/7/19

Fighting Fund

Socialist Party Fighting Fund

17/7/19

Fire service

Stop the fire service cuts

17/7/19

National Education Union

Council seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils

17/7/19

Newham

Newham housing repairs workers announce strike dates

17/7/19

Bradford

Bradford NHS workers strike against privatisation

17/7/19

Lincolnshire

Health visitors strike for the first time ever

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999