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From: The Socialist issue 976, 3 January 2018: Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty¬Ömake the fat cats pay

Search site for keywords: Fire service - Fire - Yorkshire - Socialist - North Yorkshire - FBU - Harrogate - Cuts - Firefighters

Fire service staffing victory

Socialist Party members campaigning alongside the FBU, photo by Harrogate Socialist Party

Socialist Party members campaigning alongside the FBU, photo by Harrogate Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

At the North Yorkshire Fire Authority meeting on 13 December, the decision was taken unanimously to reverse the decision made three years ago to reduce crewing of 'tactical response vehicles' (TRVs) to just three firefighters. These vehicles will now return to a minimum crew of four.

This is a victory for all those who have been campaigning over this issue for the last two and a half years. Socialist Party members across North Yorkshire played a crucial part in building public opposition to these proposals when they were first announced, particularly in Harrogate where we held stalls alongside local Fire Brigades Union (FBU) activists.

This decision, however, doesn't fully reverse the cuts, as the TRVs themselves were newly introduced in 2015, replacing large, more fully equipped fire engines, as well as following from a reduction of 50 firefighter posts lost between 2010 and 2015.

Nevertheless, FBU members and others involved in the campaign will be celebrating a setback for the austerity agenda in this largely Tory-dominated county.

Iain Dalton, North Yorkshrie Socialist Party organiser

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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Article dated 3 January 2018

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