Firefighters recently took part in a further set of strike dates in their battle with the government over pensions. You will recall I wrote recently to say how the government wanted firefighters to continue to operate at a fitness level of a twenty year old well into their sixties whilst paying hundreds of pounds extra for a pension they may never receive.
I also reported the government’s new fire Minister Penny Mourdant had failed to meet the union to help sort the problem out. Despite recent warm words from her in recent times, the government have continued down the path of confrontation leading to the union feeling they had no choice other than to take action.
This is unfortunate but understandable and I have every sympathy with our fire fighters across the country. As Coventry’s lead member on West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, we have a duty to protect the public and ensure emergency cover is available which was done.
There is though a crisis pending in the Fire Service here in Coventry and the West Midlands. With the government exerting yet more and more cuts, the Chief Fire Officer in the West Midlands has said that the ability to provide a service level which means they can reach any emergency within the 5 minute time frame will be compromised if these cuts continue. This is unprecedented and demonstrates again the wilfulness of a government that is well aware of the effect these cuts are having yet plough ahead regardless.
I have every faith in the professionalism of all fire fighters to ensure the public will be as safe as possible though it is inevitable there will be less vehicles and fire fighters available. This warning should be taken very seriously.
As I have said before this is the same old Tories determined to ‘break’ a union for political reasons. Yet it is now worse. All evidence points towards them wanting to break the fire service itself.