Things are hotting up among the local FBU following the recent sham series of public consultations that have led to plans by Norfolk Fire Service to declare their intent on making major cuts in our fire services.
In an interview with Norwich Evening News, Norfolk Chief Fire Officer Nigel Williams said
“Our draft safety plan has been drawn up following a wide-ranging consultation, the most comprehensive ever carried out by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Authority, and reflects the fact that our service is looking to change some of the ways we deliver services to our communities.
“In light of our successful continuing prevention work, which is reducing the number of fires in Norfolk and other emergencies, it makes perfect sense to take a fresh look at the way we work.
“The safety of the public is at the heart of everything we do and that won’t change.
“I believe the proposals, which will go before cabinet in October, will help us continue to move in the right direction. We have no intention of compromising either public or firefighter safety.”
Nigel what planet are you actually living on?
The wide ranging public consultations that Nigel speaks of were so well advertised that practically nobody knew they were happening, and the comments that were seen by FBU members showed that there was NO public support for the cuts whatsoever!
These, like all recent ‘consultations’ to do with cuts in local services, were nothing more than ‘democratic lip-service’, with the decisions to hack away at public services already given the green light.
As for Nigel’s reasoning and declaration of ‘common sense’..we’re tripping ourselves over with laughter! Clearly the ‘common-sense fairy’ never paid you a visit did they Nigel?
If the services are reducing fires and other incidents, it’s because of the hard work of the fire fighters. Any sane person would realise that making cuts on that basis runs the risk of simply undoing all the hard work and putting peoples lives in danger! Have a word with yourself Nigel!
As for Conservative MP Chloe Smith’s ‘fears over fire service cuts’…perhaps she’d be so kind and join the FBU on their rally this weekend and fight against all the other lunatic attacks on public services her party are currently engaged in? A likely story!
To the barricades comrades…
The FBU in Norwich have called a march and rally on Saturday 2nd in the City Centre to highlight the cuts Norfolk Fire Service are proposing.
These cuts will not only put the fire crews in danger but will result in a dangerously low level of fire cover for all of us.
We urge all who can make it to join the FBU by meeting outside Bethel Street Fire Station at 9.50am.
See you there!
Graveyard Johnnys To Headline Benefit Day
We’re pleased to announce the headline band will be the Graveyard Johnnys from ‘the deepest darkest depths of South Wales dropping in on us in the middle of a ‘mad dash across the UK‘ tour. And will be chucking in a track or two for the benefit CD too, bonus!
If you like your gigs ending with a bang you’re in for a corker!
For the uninitiated out there, check them out here http://www.myspace.com/graveyardjohnnys
A great community based organisation!
Sticky Fingerz is an artists collective Based in Norwich. We specialise in Graffiti art and have artists with over 25 years of experience that run various workshops for individuals, schools and youth groups.
We work with children aged 11-18 but age is no barrier and will teach your grandad if he wants to have a go.
We can also supply artists who work with a variety of mediums from graphic designers, photographers, traditional painters right through to sculptors. Who can tailor a lesson structure to meet your requirements.
All our staff are CRB registered for yours and our peace of mind and work in partnership with teachers and youth workers to ensure the students learn in a controlled and safe manner.
Check them out here http://www.stickyfingerz.co.uk/index.php
Download pdf of window poster by clicking on image above…
Download pdf of leaflet by clicking on image below…
…they are not worth the paper they are written on…
According to FBU members who we have engaged with, 95% of public opinion in said ‘consultation’ we’re against the proposed changes.
How then does this give the Fire Brigade a mandate to carry on regardless unless they had already decided to go ahead prior to opening it up to the public.
Just like the closures of day care centres for the elderly and the loss of jobs at Connexions.
It’s interesting what you find when you google Consultations Sham…
Norwich fire jobs set to go
Fire chiefs are to press ahead with plans to reduce cover at the proposed new Carrow station, in Norwich, with the loss of 24 jobs, despite backing away from across the board cuts in rural areas.
Norfolk Fire Service wants to save £1.5m as part of its new draft safety plan aimed at modernising the service, which it hoped would boost cover in rural areas by introducing a new specialist appliances capable of dealing with off road crashes and natural emergencies such as flooding.
Plans also include scrapping or relaxing the response times for second appliances to non-emergency call-outs, such as small rubbish fires, and minor road accidents, and changing shift patterns to a “five watch” system, following the lead of Greater Manchester, which aims to match cover to actual demand rather than having firefighters sitting around.
But after a major 12-week consultation plans, which saw the biggest ever response, bosses will press ahead with plans to reduce the number of proposed crews at the new Carrow station in Trowse from five to four.
However, plans to cut 13 retained posts at Gorleston are being put on hold while further studies of its impact are carried out, though a full time crew will still be transferred to the town from Great Yarmouth.
And instead of axing two posts each at six other stations – Diss, Cromer, Sandringham, Fakenham, Wymondham and Dereham – it will look at the levels of cover on a case-by-case basis.
The service is also looking at its options in West Norfolk and plans for an additional “fire service delivery point” at King’s Lynn if it can find the money, which has sparked questions that it may have to scale back from building a new purpose-built station costing up to £2m.
Fire service officials said they were pleased with the response to the consultation and had taken on board some of the key issues raised.
But union leaders feared the moves were nothing more than a stay of execution for the service.
Jamie Wyatt, Brigade secretary at Norfolk FBU, said the consultation process had been a sham and had only been opened up after pressure from the union.
“The only reason they have done this is so that they can make cuts in the number of firefighters,” My Wyatt said. “It’s about saving money and not the safety of people in Norfolk.”
Neil Harvey, spokesman for Norfolk Retained Firefighters Union committee, said he was very disappointed about the plans.
“From what I have seen the plans at Gorleston have simply been put on hold,” Mr Harvey said. “At some point in the future they will simply come back and there will be no way for the public to challenge that.”
The wide-ranging consultation, the most comprehensive ever carried out by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Authority, included 13 public events, attended by 182 people, and more than 70 meetings with staff and unions.
More than 300 formal responses were received and the feedback has helped shape a report due before the Fire and Rescue Overview and Scrutiny Panel next week Tuesday .
Harry Humphrey, cabinet member for fire and community protection at Norfolk County Council, said: “This was the most comprehensive consultation the fire and rescue authority has ever carried out, and has also been its most successful in terms of the level of responses received. It’s been extremely valuable for us to gain a better understanding of the views of many people including members of the public and fire service staff and I would like to thank all those who responded. Our priority, as always, is making our very safe county even safer.”
Nigel Williams, chief fire officer for Norfolk, said safety was at the heart of everything the service did and that would not change.
“I believe the proposals within this report will help us continue to move in the right direction,” Mr Williams said.