Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

January 07, 2011 11:11 ET

Fire Chiefs Admit Frontline Fire Staff Face Redundancy

SUFFOLK, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Jan. 7, 2011) - Cambridgeshire's fire chiefs finally admit their own frontline emergency fire control staff are at risk of redundancy through no fault of their own. Cambridgeshire's emergency fire control staff have given proud service without blemish to the people and tax-payers of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, but now they face the threat of redundancy as a consequence of controversial plans to transfer all 999 fire and rescue calls for emergencies in Suffolk to the control room at Hinchingbrooke. The revelation came at yesterday's meeting of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority (6 January 2011).

Suffolk's fire chiefs had previously revealed Suffolk's frontline staff faced redundancy due to the plan to close the emergency fire control room in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Keith Handscomb, Executive Member East Anglia FBU:

"The very real and serious implications of this untried and untested venture are being belatedly revealed. Through no fault of their own, professional fire control staff in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk are facing redundancy. Through no fault of their own, the public in Suffolk are to see their own emergency fire control closed and the service in Cambridgeshire is facing unnecessary upheaval. That's why fire crews, fire officers and fire control staff in both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are uniting in a campaign to oppose the 999 emergency calls transfer and will fight against any compulsory redundancies."

Additional controversy has been caused by local fire chiefs suggesting that central government will bank-roll the redundancy costs – estimated at around £500,000. But there has been no confirmation of such central government funding as yet.

"This seems to fly in the face of the Minister's recent announcement to scrap the regional control project and to stop wasting any more central government funding on it. This is significant because if the Government don't pay for it, then council tax-payers from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk will have to foot the bill. Frankly, it seems utterly incredible that councillors in both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have voted for this untried, untested and uncertainly-costed venture without knowing who's going to pay for it!

"The regional fire control project was founded on dodgy financial footings and it seems this local project is starting off the same way. The FBU were the lone voice warning of all the flaws in the regional project and the Government went on to throw good money after bad before pulling the plug on it. We urge councillors to stop and think before making the same mistake." 

Contact Information

  • Adrian Clarke
    07917 - 017713
    or
    Sharon Riley
    07889 - 088423
    or
    Keith Handscomb
    07730 - 435633