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Home   |   The Socialist 17 January 2008  |   Join the Socialist Party

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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.

We demand:

  • 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.

In this issue

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

Anti-Cuts campaigns

Fire cuts threat to our public safety

Cardiff schools campaign grows

Housing Crisis

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

Trade unions

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




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