Labour4Tranby Council Candidate Dan Palmer joined the Labour Party regional team and spoke with the media about the proposed cuts in the Fire provision in Humberside estimated at some £7 million, which will directly cause job losses on the front line according to the Fire Authority themselves.
On Monday 24 January, Service Head Quarters in Hessle, Humberside Fire Authority members were due to vote on proposals which fire fighters on the ground feel would threaten the safety of the public and firefighters.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union and public lobbied councillors to attend this critical meeting to appeal that safety and lives are prioritized before unnecessary, savage cuts.
Labour members of the Authority successfully lobbied to have the vote put back until the results of Tory Communities Secretary Eric Pickles survey into the national pictures has been published. It was due out in December put has been postponed in what many feel is a political decision to make life as difficult as possible for the Council led Fire Authorities.
In addition Labour members of the Authority along with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) discovered that last minute amendments to these proposals were being tabled in a bid to push through sections which have seen mass objections by the public, politicians and the affected workforce. Once again it was the Labour Group members that pointed out the un democratic nature of such pressure being brought to bear.
The meeting declared a unanimous decision to delay the vote based on the points raised by Labour which were non political, hence the Tories. Lib Dems and Independent members voting with Labour.
Whatever the extent of the proposed cuts, it can only mean a reduction of the current standards in Humberside fire and rescue service and delays in fire appliances attending emergency calls. This will put the lives of the public and the safety of firefighters at increased risk, something reflected by all the members voting for a delay to await further information.
Pete Smith FBU regional secretary said: “The proposals put forward to the Humberside Fire Authority members, whether in their original form or amended will ultimately threaten the safety of the public and firefighters. Whether the reductions of operational staff are 50, 100 or 200 it is still a reduction in frontline staff and this will ultimately have a knock on effect regarding attending incidents.
“When the public ring 999 they demand the required number of fire appliances and sufficient numbers of crew members within a few minutes as lives may depend on how quickly the fire service responds in a professional capacity.”
Dan Palmer (29, Labour’s candidate for the Tranby Ward said; “ It was really good to see politicians of all Parties recognizing the strength of feeling amongst the local community who turned out in droves to make their objections felt on this crucial issue. WE call on Eric Pickes to make known the content of his survey so that strategic decisions can be made moving forward, which do their best to minimize the impact of financial cuts on front line fire staff. The safety of Fire Crews must come first as this directly has an affect on the safety of the Public.”