WESTMINSTER fire minister Penny Mordaunt praised the Fire Brigades Union today for demonstrating the capacity for further job cuts within the Fire and Rescue Service.
Visiting Lichfield today Ms Mordaunt said:
‘Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that they attended just nine incidents during the 24-hour Fire Brigades Union strike, which ended at 7am this morning. There were no incidents of note during the strike. The figures compare to 16 in 2014, 38 in 2013 and 39 in 2012. This clearly shows that by reducing the number of firefighters we are improving public safety.’
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said:
‘Once again we have seen the Fire Brigades Union’s policy of strike action go up in smoke.
‘But I would like to thank local residents and motorists for not setting themselves alight nor deliberately crashing their vehicles when the strike was taking place.’
Local fire crew leader and self-employed plumber Scott Tracy commented:
‘It’s a challenging time for the lads. Job cuts will have a disastrous effect on our businesses and the public will notice a dramatic reduction in fire engine “drive-rounds” that we do in the summer months eyeing up the local talent.’
The FBU does however have plenty of support locally. Britney Singleton,19 year-old mother of five under fives from Burntwood said:
‘I’m absolutely gobsmacked, you don’t expect something like this to happen round here. I’ll definitely be supporting the “Tits Out for the Tenders” campaign. And I’ll sign another petition, provided it’s online mind.’
This was the 14th round of strike action to result in dramatic improvements in public safety since the dispute between the FBU and the Government began in September 2013. Minister Penny Mordaunt added:
‘The FBU action has proven to be so successful that when the demolition of the Lichfield Fire Station has been completed I will be recommending that the site be incorporated into the new Friarsgate shopping centre development that I understand is due to start any day now.’