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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 July 2019

Stop the Devon and Somerset fire service cuts

Firefighters marching for fire safety, photo by Paul Mattsson

Firefighters marching for fire safety, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Richard Worth, Torbay and South Devon Socialist Party

Proposals by our fire authority to cut eight fully staffed fire stations and axe 30 fire engines were described by one councillor as "turbo-charging austerity", putting lives at risk.

The cutting of fire stations is part of 8 of million planned cuts to Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS), with job losses of more than 40 firefighters.

Frontline services, full-time fire cover and jobs have already been slashed following the combining of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue services into one authority in 2007.

DSFRS has carried out 12.2 million in cuts in the last five years. But due to a lack of funding from central government, a further estimated 8.4 million of cuts are to be found in the next three years. These latest proposals would see the biggest, most devastating cuts ever.

Firefighters have not had a pay rise and the retention and recruitment of firefighters has become difficult, leading to an already understaffed fire service.

James Leslie of Devon and Somerset Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said that "these proposals represent the biggest cuts to front-line services anywhere in the country" and [we] "will not tolerate these dangerous plans and we plan to mobilise against them."

Trade union councils in Exeter and Torbay have pledged support to the FBU, and the Socialist Party will support action including strikes by the FBU, and help rally people against these cuts.

On 13 July, Socialist Party members ran a stall in Newton Abbot against the cuts to the fire service and the NHS. The response from people was overwhelming.

A retired firefighter pointed out how a fire engine can only be in one place at any one time. With an increasing population due to many new homes being built, the services should be increased, not cut.

Many people showed outrage at the planned cuts and voiced their full support to their valued firefighters.

We sold 24 copies of the Socialist and received many donations to help support the work of the Socialist Party in its fight against all cuts to public services.

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In The Socialist 17 July 2019:


What we think

Stop Boris - general election now


News

Fraudsters thrive and claimants suffer in despicable Universal Credit scam

Wales: chronic NHS underfunding exposed

Them & Us


Imperial typewriters dispute

The 45th anniversary of the strike


Workplace news

NSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle

Health visitors strike for the first time ever

Bradford NHS workers strike against privatisation

Victory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

Newham housing repairs workers announce strike dates

Council seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils


Moon landing 50 years on

50 years since Apollo 11 - 'One giant leap': how political conflict launched the moon landing


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist change to end climate change

Residents mobilise to stop eviction

Stop the fire service cuts

Durham Miners' Gala

Campaigners force U-turn over NHS privatisation

Leicestershire - No more austerity!

Excellent response to building fund appeal

Socialist Party Fighting Fund


International socialist news and analysis

Greece elections: Syriza ousted amid voter disillusionment

Sudan masses mobilise against state repression

Interview: protests over killing in Israel


Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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