"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

Another Example Of The Lies That are ‘Consultations’….

…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.



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