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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 February 2008

Fight Devon and Somerset fire cuts

DEVON AND Somerset Fire Authority are putting pennies before public safety by adopting plans to cut 24 firefighters' jobs from Barnstaple, Exeter and Torquay.

Jim Lowe, Devon Socialist Party

They are also introducing dual-crewing of all aerial platforms in Devon. So, if another large fire broke out like that in Ilfracombe, firefighters would have to choose whether to take an engine OR an aerial platform.

Devon and Somerset Fire Authority blame the cuts on the government reducing their funds. However, the Fire Brigades Union put forward proposals enabling the authority to save money while maintaining services. The Fire Authority ignored these proposals, which included reviewing senior management's salary levels. Chief Fire Officer Paul Young, on £135,000 a year, didn't support them.

Firefighters are furious. The Fire Authority has ignored their warnings and overwhelming public opposition to the cuts.

Barnstaple firefighter James Leslie told The Socialist: "There's a lot of anger at the plans, and a feeling that management have let down the public and firefighters". The Authority previously rejected plans to dual-crew aerial platforms due to the risk to the public, "but suddenly they're OK".

These cuts would put lives at risk. Devon Socialist Party will keep campaigning against them and will support action by the FBU, whose area Brigade Secretary Trevor French hints at strike action.

The NHS, schools and other essential public services are also facing huge cuts and the increasing involvement of private companies who are interested in profit, not people. We need united action by public sector unions to fight for 'public services not private profit' and also a party that will represent such a campaign politically.

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In The Socialist 27 February 2008:

Rich get richer - We pay the bills


Unison witch-hunt

Editorial: Stop witch-hunts in Unison - defend those attacked!

Trade union activist fights intimidation

Members protest at Unison witch-hunt


Socialist Students

Student feature: Fighting fees


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Workplace news

Shelter staff vote to strike

Acas staff ballot for strike

Journalists battle for union rights

Workplace News in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Scotland - Vendetta against Tommy Sheridan condemned

Feature: Fidel Castro's resignation opens up new chapter

Pakistan elections: Crushing defeat for Musharraf, landslide for opposition parties

Miliband's extraordinary apology on rendition

Sleaze in Northern Ireland: Keeping it in the family


Socialist Party campaigns

Don't let our hospital pay the price for PFI

Explosive mood on gas profits

Fight Devon and Somerset fire cuts

Marching against single status pay cuts

Neither Labour nor Tories will defend public services

Post Office closures

Sheffield buses campaign: 'Saving our services'


 

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