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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 September 2015

Anger and protest against fire service cuts in Leicestershire

Heather Rawling, Leicester NUT (personal capacity)

A protest was organised by Leicestershire FBU at the county fire authority HQ in opposition to devastating cuts announced.

Unbelievably they propose closing Leicester Central Fire Station, responsible for around 1,300 to 1,600 call-outs in the city every year and Kibworth Fire Station, covering a wide rural location.

Jobs threat

The money for frontline jobs and services could be found if there was a political will. Yet these cuts have been described as 'tweaking' by those proposing them!

A meeting of the Combined Fire Authority (CFA) was held in a spanking new office which cost around 8 million to build. There is also another building at Castle Donnington which cost 13 million to build which isn't being used.

It is costing the taxpayer 5,000 a day to leave it empty. It was meant to be the new fire control centre for the East Midlands - part of a government plan to replace 46 local fire and rescue control rooms across the country with nine new regional centres.

The CFA includes seven Labour councillors but only two voted against the cuts. If the Labour councillors responded to Jeremy Corbyn's call to resist cuts, they could use reserves in the CFA of over 370 million to buy time and build a massive campaign to demand more money from the government.

Campaign

A massive campaign involving the FBU and the general public is needed to fight these cuts.

Gav Lynch, brigade chair FBU Leicestershire, reflected the shock felt at the proposals: "To put them into context, these cuts, in addition to the cuts already agreed earlier this year, amount to 188 operational posts being removed. That's one third of all firefighters in Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. Clearly this will have huge implications on public safety and firefighter safety."

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 30 September 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

TUSC: Central in the battle for a working class anti-austerity voice

Socialism is back!

Free school meals cut as poor children go hungry

Pollution cheat Volkswagen kills thousands for profit

Gouging boss demands price hike for life-saving drug

Gravy-train Labour MP claims expenses to rent house next door

Tower block residents defend homes

Them & Us


Socialist Party features

How can we bring down the Tories?

Lessons from the past: Liverpool City Council 1983-87

Give us the resources to defeat the Tories

Subscribe to a paper by workers, for workers


International socialist news and analysis

EU ministers squabble while refugees drown

Hungary's xenophobic right-wing government

USA: Socialists breaking 'political stagnation'

Kazakhstan: workers solidarity action


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors fight government attacks

Nominate Roger Bannister for Unison general secretary

Hypocritical attacks on tube control room strike

Review: Kill the Bill

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Anger and protest against fire service cuts in Leicestershire

Come to Socialism 2015


 

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