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TUC Northern and Fire Brigades Union comment on takeover of Cumbria fire and rescue service

TUC Northern Regional Secretary Liz Blackshaw commented on the approval of Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall to take control of the county's fire service, 

“Not only has this take over been rejected by the public. But it also risks fire station closures and firefighter job losses, which would cause slower response times and ultimately threaten public safety.

“On top of this, the move weakens governance by giving fire management to a single official and risks fire and rescue being seen as an arm of policing rather than the humanitarian service that it is.

“There is a whole list of cons to this merger, but no pros.

“We urge Mr McCall to reconsider and move forward with a democratically reached solution instead.”

A spokesperson for the Fire Brigades Union said:

“The Fire Brigades Union know that Firefighters enjoy the highest levels of public trust, satisfaction and confidence in the UK with the skills and expertise communities know they can rely on.

“Their role as independent and impartial life-savers enables them to reach all communities, in difficult political and social circumstances.

“The public’s view of the police, and reception to them, is often quite different.

“Association with the police through shared governance or service mergers could damage the reputation firefighters have built up in neighbourhoods over decades, and which they rely upon in order to have access to people’s homes for vital fire prevention and rescue work.”

Editors note

About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

About the FBU: The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is the democratic, professional voice of firefighters and workers within fire and rescue services across the UK.

Contacts:

TUC Northern
hhammock@tuc.org.uk  
0191 2275554 / 07415 440185

Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-northern-and-fire-brigades-union-comment-takeover-cumbria-fire-and-rescue-service

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