Monday, 8 November 2010

Brian Coleman says brigade has "over-supply" of fire engines

Boris Johnson's fire chief risked further industrial strife today after he proposed cutting up to 27 fire engines across London.

In a last minute amendment to a Fire Authority budget committe, Chairman Brian Coleman suggested that:

"officers [should] explore, as part of the budget process, and report back to the Committee... on whether the Brigade needs all 27 of the fire appliances removed from stations during the current industrial action to be returned or whether there is an over-supply of appliances"

The fire engines were removed last month by the company hired to break the fire strikes and have not yet been returned.

Permanently removing all 27 would amount to an estimated 16% cut in the number of fire engines across the capital.

Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Mike Tuffrey said today:

“In the very same week that the fire union and management are finally sitting down and talking it is truly extraordinary that Brian Coleman should produce this ‘rabbit out of the hat’ proposal.   His badly timed proposal will only fuel the worst fears of the workforce.

"The fire authority has already produced a draft budget for next year which fully complies with the Mayor’s financial guidelines.  There is simply no need for such cuts despite some tough financial constraints.

“The Mayor must overrule Brian Coleman and make it crystal clear to Londoners that next year's budget will not see any ill thought out cuts to front line fire services.”

The timing is especially dangerous coming as it does within days of the Fire Brigade Union calling off a planned bonfire night strike.

The unions accepted arbitration on this occasion but have repeatedly warned in the past that Coleman has secret plans to close stations and remove fire engines.

Confirmation of this could bring the dispute right back to square one.

-Update (9/11) - The Evening Standard calculate the cuts could mean up to 500 firefighter jobs lost


MT said...

Brian Coleman is deliberately stoking up the dispute and has no interest in settling this.

Anonymous said...

when will someone have the balls to sack toad coleman !!

Anonymous said...

This is probably another one of the Conservative/Coalitions Secret Agenda's that is now coming out in the open! we should not be surprised if more is to come!

Anonymous said...

the union should've seen this coming and not called off the strike without checking the machines would be returned asap.

Labour LFEPA Navin Shah (press release) said...

“The cat is out of the bag – the Tories want big cuts to our fire service. Councillor Coleman gave a public assurance last week that he would not be cutting fire engines, firefighters or fire stations. So much for that promise – clearly his word cannot be trusted.“
“At this sensitive time when we are trying to settle the dispute, Coleman can’t even wait until the ink is dry before he’s talking about more cuts"

FBU Ben Sprung (press release) said...

"Coleman has denied our dispute had anything to do with cuts in the service for Londoners. This proves that has been the agenda all along. He seems willing to put his vendetta against firefighters above the safety of London. This man is clearly not fit for office."

Darren Johnson AM (Green Party press release) said...

“It is highly provocative and badly timed comment, which raises the prospect of unacceptable cuts to the fire service in London. Most Londoners breathed a sigh of relief when the Fire Brigades Union responded to legitimate concerns over safety and called off their strike on bonfire night. The chair of the Authority should be helping to sort out the trade union’s grievances, not stirring things up in this way. The London Mayor needs to step in and remove Brian Coleman from his role as chair, as he has become a barrier to the dispute being resolved.”

Anonymous said...

The insurance companies will pass the risk on to us the consumer. Reduction in fire and police services will see higher claims. This may seem a hard hearted view of this issue but it is the reality of all the economies being threatened by our present government. Insurance companies are in the business of judging the risks which Coleman et al are telling us do not exist.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Brian Coleman was a member of The Bullingdon Club? I ask this because it appears that he enjoys wrecking things! Whilst we are on the subject yesterdays demonstration must have made the Tories reminisce about the good old days at The Bullingdon Club when SMASHING other peoples windows and property was considered a good night out. Take a look for yourself at this website : htt://

Wonder what Boris Johnson has to say about it.