Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

December 19, 2010 19:01 ET

Stop Suffolk Fire Control Sell-Off FBU Urges Councillors

SUFFOLK FIRE CREWS URGE COUNCILLORS TO STOP & THINK AGAIN ON PLANS TO CLOSE SUFFOLK'S VITAL 999 FIRE CONTROL & SELL IT OFF TO BE RUN FROM HUNTINGDON IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE

SUFFOLK, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2010) -

Embargoed until 00.01 Monday 20th December 2010

Today (Monday 20th December), a specially convened meeting of the Public Protection Scrutiny Committee of Suffolk County Council will decide on controversial plans to close Suffolk's very own 999 fire control room in Ipswich and to sell off this vital part of the frontline service to be run from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

The special meeting is due to start at 10.30 at Endeavour House in Ipswich and has been called by some councillors alarmed at the lack of detailed information and the cloak under which fire chiefs were seeking to rush the plans through. The alarm was raised following a Cabinet meeting on 7th December where only 10 Council portfolio holders rather than the full Council took the controversial decision in principle to close the Suffolk Fire Control.

The Fire Brigades Union has written to Councillors raising a number of legal infringements caused by the haste with which fire chiefs have tried to push the plans through. There are also serious concerns about the failure of service managers to properly present to councilors the business case and costings for the other viable options for keeping the control room within Suffolk. The union is similarly critical at the misleading excuse given for the proposed move to Huntingdon as simply being an interim measure until the Government imposes the long-overdue and discredited transfer to a Regional Control Centre.

Adrian Clarke Regional Secretary FBU East Anglia said:

"The Regional Control Centre is a complete red herring – the chief already knows that the over-budget and overdue RCC project is dead in the water and that a public announcement by the Government is imminent. There's no need to rush and there's every reason for the Council to take a long, hard look at the other interim and long-term options for keeping our vital 999 fire control room in Suffolk to continue dealing with all the 999 emergencies the people of Suffolk will call in. Only fools rush in to making decisions effecting emergency frontline services.

Every community and constituency in Suffolk will be affected and so any decision should be taken by the full County Council. All councillors should make sure they are given the evidence and details of all the various options open to them with enough time to properly consider them. And the public have a right to know the implications of closing Suffolk's 999 fire control room, how much the substitute service from Huntingdon is going to cost and to compare it against the costs of the other viable options for keeping the control room in Suffolk. We urge the Scrutiny Committee to refer the whole matter to a meeting of the full County Council."

Contact Information

  • Adrian Clarke
    07917 - 017713
    or
    Andy Vingoe
    07967 - 041039
    or
    Andy Message
    07967 - 040909