Monday, 2 May 2011

Sharing Fire Services...Bad idea!

Northumberland County Council led by the Liberal Democrats are set to face heavy criticism from the Fire Brigade Union (FBU), UNISON and the general public should they press ahead with the merger of creating a single Fire and Rescue Authority with Cumbria County Council.

It was reported in the local newspaper The Journal, on 2 May 2011, that the council are to consider five options on how the two brigades could collaborate.

This comes on the back of the significant budget cuts Northumberland County Council have already made in other services.

Council bosses have been reported to say that front-line services will not be affected by any such change, however I believe logistically it could lead to all sorts of problems for the control centre staff often labelled back office workers.

My view is although the council say that significant savings can be made by the merger, I believe this could lead to the closure of many rural fire stations and depletion of an excellent life saving service. This merger would present major accountability issues as it is thought this merger would move away from the councils to create one single Fire Authority.

I believe moving to such a model would offer less financial security making the service and staff that work for the fire service more vulnerable and users more at risk.

Fire cuts cost lives, tell your councillor what you think of the proposals by contacting them through

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