Anna Turley, Labour & Co-operative candidate for Redcar, along with local Labour Party members recently stepped up their campaign against the potential privatisation of fire and rescue as they passed a motion at a recent meeting [Friday 19th July 2013] opposing the “spinning out” of Cleveland Fire Brigade.
The Coalition Government is funding proposals that could see Cleveland Fire Brigade “spun out” from Cleveland Fire Authority, whilst Tory Ministers have tried to push through proposals “that would enable fire and rescue authorities in England to contract out their full range of services to a suitable provider”.
Under European law, if the Fire Brigade were to be ‘spun’ out, a few years down the line, the Fire Authority would have to put fire services out to competitive tender, allowing the privatisation of our fire brigade.
“Our fire services have already faced irresponsible cuts which have left them in a precarious position when it comes to saving lives and helping people to feel safe when they sleep at night. This proposal is surely a step too far, even for this Government. The very idea of privatising one of our emergency services is horrifying.
“The language of mutuality and co-operation is simply being used as political cover by the Coalition Government to open up public services to potential competitive tender. I believe this poses a major risk to the service delivery of one of our most vital emergency services, particularly in our area of high industrial risk. I do not believe this is the right model for our fire service. A mutual requires the support of its employees, yet fire-fighters do not want these changes.”
“It is essential that as many people as possible sign this petition and make it clear that we simply will not accept private profit being put before public safety when it comes to our fire and rescue services.”
Cllr Ian Jeffrey commented:
“Cleveland Fire and Rescue Service has already suffered a 12 per cent reduction in the number of whole-time and retained fire fighters. We will also be putting a motion to the next meeting of Redcar and Cleveland Council [5th September 2013] outlining our concerns at the Government’s irresponsible cuts and these risky proposals. We want to let the Coalition Government and Cleveland Fire Authority know that we oppose any plans to take our Fire Brigade out of the public sector, and oppose risking its privatisation.”