CIRCULAR: All Members
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you are aware the Fire Authority agreed to send their six options out for public consultations last Friday, 28th June. Members of the Brigade Committee attended this meeting and were shocked at some of the falsehoods that our management were stating. Quotes such as “risk is low and we don’t need them” in relation to Option 1 and “the 2nd and 3rd Pumps are not needed” just shows how out of touch our senior management are with the reality on the ground, where you put your lives on the line on a daily basis.
This also shows how determined our senior management are to push these dangerous proposals through. I call upon all members to take part in our campaign to fight these cuts and also to make your thoughts clear in Devon and Somerset's public consultation. We have not seen what the questions will be in their consultation process, but we have learnt from previous experience that the questions are often loaded to get a desired response. In the end this leads to this process just being a rubber-stamping exercise, but I hope that I am wrong on this occasion.
It was also clear during the debate on Friday that some councillors were unhappy with their own level of knowledge on the subject. Some of the information included in these dangerous options was either incorrect, or highly misleading. Despite this, the Fire Authority did agree to go out to public consultation and that will last for 12 weeks. It is my understanding that this will start on the 2nd July, although this may be delayed due to some amendments being passed at the meeting.
The Brigade Committee immediately met following the Fire Authority and passed the following statement -
STATEMENT: Devon and Somerset firefighters threaten campaign against cuts.
Devon and Somerset’s fire authority today announced a public consultation on massive cuts to the area’s fire and rescue service. The authority will consider six options for cutting the service, which involve closing fire stations, the removal of fire engines and reductions in fire cover. Responding to the announcement, Devon and Somerset Fire Brigades Union (FBU) issued the following statement:
“We condemn today’s Fire Authority decision to publicly consult on six options that include station closures, removal of appliances and cuts in appliance availability. All of these options will put firefighter and public lives at risk. These options are totally unacceptable to this committee and we will now campaign, both politically and industrially, against these dangerous proposals.”
Now is the time when we need to all get involved in our campaign to protect ourselves, the public and the future of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.
In unity James Leslie
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