Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/516/3638
From The Socialist newspaper, 17 January 2008
Fire cuts threat to our public safety
DEVON AND Somerset's Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Paul Young, was stopped recently from removing dedicated fire crews from aerial platforms (which are needed in larger fires). He now plans to remove full-time fire cover from Exmouth, Ilfracombe, Paignton and Plympton in Devon. Such cuts have had fatal consequences elsewhere, such as Newquay in Cornwall.
Jim Lowe, Devon Socialist Party
Local Fire Brigades Union (FBU) activists and Socialist Party members have both collected many signatures against the cuts across Devon. Some opponents of cuts try to plead a special case for their town to gain a temporary reprieve, but this strategy would disastrously undermine the unity needed to bin the proposal.
At a recent anti-cuts meeting in Ilfracombe, FBU secretary Trevor French condemned the Fire Authority's attempts to set "one station against another as a means of being able to divide and conquer."
For public safety, all areas at least the size of Ilfracombe (a town of about 10,000 people) need full-time crews. Even the CFO conceded that simply maintaining a 'retained crew' would increase response times.
A Tory member of the Fire Authority said aerial platform cuts should be looked at again rather than making staffing cuts. However, all possible cuts must be stopped as well as threatened privatisation measures. Only a few months ago a large fire in Ilfracombe needed a quick response from the aerial platform in Barnstaple.
- A fully funded, well staffed and equipped fire service where the priority is public safety not budget cuts. There is plenty of money for shareholders of privatised public services and war, we demand it is spent on essential public services.
- Stop the privatisation threat! Fight for a public fire service, with no place for private profit.
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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 17 January 2008:
Fight for a living wage
Burslem: Support victimised postal workers
Editorial: Fight three year low pay tie-ins
Environment and socialism
Stop nuclear power plans NOW!
Is the burning of fossil fuels causing climate change?
Hain's sorry saga of sleaze
Blair's rewards from big business
Fire cuts threat to our public safety
Cardiff schools campaign grows
Nationalise Northern Rock - permanently
Growing crisis in housing
Socialist Party news
Save our post offices
Salford says: "Don't close our women's centre"
'Them and Us': news shorts
Feature: Building the shop stewards' movement
Socialist Party campaigning
Ideas for campaigning and fundraising
International socialist news and analysis
Sri Lanka: New year starts with atrocities
Biggest miners' underground occupation in Polish history
Socialist Party review
Review: More Time for Politics, Diaries 2001-2007, by Tony Benn
Socialist Party workplace news
Reinstate Karen Reissman - defend mental health services!
Derby nurses fight management attacks
Liverpool: City of Cuts
Vote Jim Cessford
The Socialist 17 January 2008 |
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