Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Strikes and fires.

Mrs Rigby notes that few newspapers have picked up the BBC reports of a Firefighters strike in South Yorkshire, due next week
The FBU said strikes were planned for 24-hour periods starting from 1800 BST on 19 October and again on 23 October.
Mrs R isn't sure who is going to put out fires in South Yorkshire during this time, the BBC doesn't mention any contingency plans, and m
ost people probably know that the Auxiliary Fire Service was scrapped by Harold Wilson, and the Green Goddesses that had been retained by the Army were sold off in 2007, their loss was covered by the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 which makes firefighting appliances available to "others providing emergency cover".

Here's an explanation :-

Section 30: Directions for public safety purposes

54. This section provides the Secretary of State with the power to give directions, by order, to fire and rescue authorities as to the use and disposal of their property or facilities for the purposes of public safety. Such a direction may cover all kinds of property and facilities, whether or not they have been provided as part of a national procurement exercise under section 29. An example of when this power might be used is during a period of industrial action when emergency cover provided by a fire and rescue authority is insufficient and in order to ensure public safety their equipment needs to be used by others providing emergency cover.

It's quite reassuring to know that the military might be able to respond to civil emergencies, having been trained at the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre, which is run by the Air Force. Mrs R isn't sure if the TA would get involved, because they've effectively been stood down for the coming six months.

Mrs Rigby fleetingly wondered if either the Police or PCSOs know how to fight fires - or would the H&S Brigade stop them getting too close to any flames in case they get singed?

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