Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/767/16802
The Socialist 29 May 2013 |
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Fire service cuts
Lewisham 'ready for a fight'
In Lewisham, New Cross and Downham fire stations are threatened with closure.
Members of Lewisham Socialist Party joined the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) at the borough 'consultation' on Boris Johnson's fire service plan, which includes closing 12 London fire stations and cuts at many more, and axing 500 firefighters jobs.
All members of the public who spoke opposed the plans. Johnson's representative, James Cleverly, a Bromley member of the Greater London Assembly (GLA) was jeered when he said cuts will make London safer. So was the Liberal Democrat GLA member for supporting the coalition's cuts budget.
Two Socialist Party members were called in to ask questions. Susanna Farley called for demonstrations against the plans and occupations of threatened fire stations.
To cheers, she said that if the FBU decides to take strike action against the cuts it will get massive community support.
Cleverly replied that 'he hopes industrial action can be avoided'. The best way for him to avoid action is to withdraw the cuts plan!
Greg Randall asked the Labour GLA member on the platform whether Labour would reverse the cuts if they come back into power. The answer, basically "No", angered the audience.
Greg asked Cleverly whether he and Johnson are ready for a fight - they have certainly picked one with the people of Lewisham.