Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

July 05, 2011 07:45 ET

Cambridgeshire FBU Launch Alternative to Biggest Ever Cuts to the Fire Service in Cambridgeshire Alongside Warning of Industrial Action

CAMBRIDGESHIRE, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - July 5, 2011) - Firefighters, officers and control staff from all over Cambridgeshire gathered in Huntingdon to discuss the FBU alternative savings proposals and industrial response to the frontline cuts being drawn up by Cambridgeshire's fire chiefs.

They were joined at their open meeting by several Members of the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority, members of the public and members of fellow trade unions.

In a very emotive meeting they discussed the package of frontline cuts being proposed by managers which would see all areas of the county affected, including plans to close and downgrade fire stations, increasing the time the public will have to wait for fire crews when they dial 999, the loss of specialist vehicles to deal with high rise incidents and road traffic accidents as well as cuts in the numbers of firefighters, control staff and officers employed.

Kevin Napier Cambridgeshire FBU Brigade Secretary said:

"We remain wholly opposed to any frontline cuts and we blame the coalition government for the disastrous cut in our funding in Cambridgeshire. We call upon all the local politicians to join us in lobbying central government for extra funding and not to punish our county for being so frugal in the past. We simply cannot absorb cuts without directly affecting our life-saving, frontline service in the way the Government suggest we can.

"We oppose all the cuts but we have also drafted a package of alternative savings that we think would have far less of an impact on frontline, 999 services. We are consulting with our members about the alternatives, where we draw the line and what we are prepared to fight for with industrial action if necessary. We have also taken the decision to launch our alternative in a very public manner in an open meeting where those who pay for the fire service, those to whom the service is and should be accountable and ultimately those communities we serve can have their say. Copies of our draft alternatives will be sent to the councillors who will have to take responsibility for any cuts they force through.

However, we also issue a stark warning: Firefighters never want to take industrial action but we will fight against frontline cuts and take such measures needed to defend against these reductions that we believe put our communities, the lives of the public and of firefighters at risk. We will oppose any compulsory redundancies and will abide by our unions national policy.

Phil McQuillen FBU Brigade Chair said:

"As a union we are being asked to take some of the toughest and most unpalatable decisions we have ever had to make. FBU Members up and down the county are angry. They are facing attacks on their pay, pensions and their conditions of service but their public service ethos remains as resolute as ever and they will not stand by while the 999 service their communities have the right to expect is dismantled. They are dedicated professionals who are prepared to risk their own lives to save others and they are rightly proud of the professional service they deliver and they will fight to defend it".

The draft FBU Alternatives Document is attached:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/710332.pdf

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Kevin Napier FBU Brigade Secretary 07824 - 438858
    Phil McQuillen FBU Brigade Chair 07920 - 799558