The Socialist 29 August 2018 |
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Merseyside fire authority forced to postpone night closures
Bosses have withdrawn the threat of nighttime closures at two Merseyside fire stations (Click to enlarge)
Dave Jones, Merseyside Socialist Party and Wallasey Hands Off Our Fire Station
The Labour-controlled Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority planned to close four stations in Merseyside during nighttimes. But they have now backed down on the closure of two.
On 24 July, six local activists - including from the Socialist Party, Fire Brigades Union, and trade union council - met to launch a community campaign - Wallasey Hands Off Our Fire Station.
We announced a planned public meeting on 14 August. This quickly found an echo in the local community. The fire authority responded in a cowardly way by bringing the closure forward to 10 September.
This, however, backfired. Our community was outraged and over 200 people packed into the public meeting. A noisy lobby in the local shopping centre followed.
The impact was noticeable as local politicians started to back the campaign and, in some cases, to backtrack.
Then, on 24 August the fire authority announced a climb down 'for now' and placed the closures on hold - a massive victory for the local community. But we won't rest until we achieve total victory.
We will proceed with a demonstration against the closure on 1 September - assemble 11am Wallasey Central Park car park, Liscard Road.
We call on the fire authority to:
- Stop all cuts and closures
- Use reserves of £25 million plus
- Scrap the 'resilience contracts' - whereby firefighters are paid £1,000 to leave the union and join a strike breaking section