Union’s unanimous ‘no confidence’ vote in fire authority shake-up plans

Firefighters in East Sussex have “no confidence” in their employer’s plans to restructure the service.

The East Sussex Fire Authority proposals would, if implemented, see the removal of one of the two fire engines at Uckfield and a reduction in the number of full-time fighters serving the town and surrounding villages.

Weekend and night-time cover would be in the hands of on-call firefighters.

Earlier this week, Uckfield Town Council voiced its opposition to the plans.

Yesterday (June 3), the East Sussex Fire Brigades’ Union Committee unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the plan.

‘Dangerous plans’

The committee is made up of FBU representatives from all fire stations across East Sussex.

Eliot Parry, FBU Brigade Secretary for East Sussex, said: “The committee has not taken this decision lightly.

“The fact that the fire authority are continuing to proceed with their public consultation on these dangerous plans has left our members with little choice but to officially record their lack of confidence in the proposals. 

Detrimental impact

“Firefighters know these plans are dangerous and will have a huge detrimental impact on both public and firefighter safety. 

“Firefighters need to be able to respond quickly to emergencies and in sufficient numbers to allow them to deal with life threatening emergencies. 

“These plans will severely hinder their ability to protect the public and will result in the unnecessary loss of lives.”

Background

East Sussex Fire Authority says there is significant uncertainty about its funding beyond 2020/21 with the Government planning to review how much it spends on public services.

Detailed proposals and information on how to take part in the consultation can be found on the ESFRS website.

Read more about planned cuts to the service in previous Uckfield News stories:

Uckfield fire cuts – protests grow

In-depth analysis of how Uckfield fire cuts could affect you

Cuts proposed for Uckfield Fire Station 

See also:

Latest Covid-19 death toll figures for Wealden

Parliamentary boundary shake-up dropped

New (designate) Chief Constable for Sussex

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