OPINION

Greens and Labour vote to cut firefighters’ jobs they said were vital

Posted On 05 Sep 2020 at 12:05 am

The Greens and Labour joined forces to vote for a cut in the number of firefighters in Brighton and Hove at a meeting of East Sussex Fire Authority on Thursday 3 September.

The number of firefighters will be reduced from 104 to 100 across the three fire stations at Preston Circus, in Roedean and in Hove.

Their vote contradicts a public statement from Brighton and Hove City Council Labour councillors in June when they opposed the cuts on the basis that they could put lives at risk.

And it goes against a statement from the Brighton and Hove Green group calling on the fire authority to scrap the entire consultation that preceded the vote to scrap these posts.

It’s staggering that Labour and Green councillors could vote for these cuts to the city’s frontline firefighters after opposing them as recently as June.

Labour and Greens councillors often talk about protecting services to the public but when the chips were down they failed to stand up for firefighters – and for the fire service in the city of Brighton and Hove.

In May the Greens called for the consultation to be scrapped and in June Labour said that the cuts would put lives at risk and they pointed to a petition signed by 23,000 people.

But for our city there has been virtually no meaningful change to the plan since then, with Brighton and Hove set to lose four firefighters as opposed to five in the June version of the plan.

For both parties to say what they said and then vote to reduce the number of frontline firefighters in Brighton and Hove is the height of hypocrisy. It shows that the public cannot trust them.

One of the group leaders once said that cuts to the fire service were a “false economy”. I agree. It’s a shame that the leader has not put those words into practice for the benefit of Brighton and Hove.

Just like the cycle lanes and just like the urban fringe, with Labour you can’t listen to what they say. You need to watch what they do.

The public spoke loud and clear through the consultation – they want well-resourced fire stations across the city.

As a Conservative group we took a strong stand that we would not accept any cuts to frontline firefighters and we publicised this on Brighton and Hove News.

We lived up to our promise to the people of Brighton and Hove.

It is staggering that the Greens and Labour group did not – and they will be judged harshly by the residents of this city who value public services.

Councillor Steve Bell is the leader of the Conservative group on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Lewis Searle Reply

    And which party has made all of these cuts necessary? Oh the conservative party of course, who have cut public services to unacceptable levels

  2. Paul cox Reply

    What rubbish, conservatives may set a budget but greens and labour decide how it’s spent,this is not a nationwide cut , but then nowhere else has haemorrhaged money on wasteful and dangerous traffic and cycle projects, that become public dangers or vain i360 projects

    • Leas Jackson Reply

      Why can’t people see what this town is becoming? Its dirty, runs down street, business closing. Real places that needs help: fires stations, homeless centres, medical centre for people woth addictions or in needs of supports. Children centres and the list goes on. Why do they touch our roads, when its been okay for years. Now we have heavy traffic everywhere. Not everyone can ride a bike with children,disability or loads of shopping. Some cant even afford busses with family of 5 or family of 3 for everyday used. Or need to get to a place that need 5 bus changing to get there but no time to get back for tea before bed. Cars can be essential and most people have good commonsense about using cars etc. Yes, bike lances are good but why take it have to over take the cars. We all have different needs and we shoukd all have rights, why do we have to be in the same boats, why cant we be trusted with our own common sense. We are not CHILDREN and i am fed up with this nanny council and people who are being so rude in attacking other people who dont follow thier ways of live. Whats happening to our society that becoming unrealistic and unfair. We as people who live in this town, need to be heard. Listen to us, to what the people need. Real support and real answers to real people’s need…Stop wasting money and providing wrong services or taking other services in replacement of something we don’t need! Support real people like firefighters who may save your lives. I do not want anyone to be in trouble because they couldn’t afford to come out!

  3. John Reply

    Is this the weekly rant by MP Marie Caulfield’s Number 2, where he takes an issue in a very complicated area and blames BHCC while avoiding mentioning major events Covid death rates, Barnards Castle, Imminent recession or the Brexit shambles

    It’s the East Sussex fire Service so funding must come from the taxpayer via the Tory Gov and council tax from all across East Sussex.
    And there have been a long consultation where the Fire Service have said they’ll have to stop rescuing cats from trees, stations are being merged manning levels are cut etc.
    So this was just BHCC signing off something that Tory, Green and Labour councillors across East Sussex had agreed to and just part of cuts due to funding cuts from the Tory Gov

  4. Dave Reply

    I think you will find the conservatives also voted through these cuts as well

  5. ChrisC Reply

    East Sussec Fire Authprity has 18 members. !2 appointed by East Sussex County Council and 6 by Brighton & Hove City Council.

    There are 9 Tories on the Authority onew of whom is the Chair.

    Councillor Bell is silent on how they voted.

    • bob Reply

      Exactly, there is one truth in life I find, you can NEVER trust a Tory (or 90% of them!) to do anyhting which they consider socialist like not selling off all the council houses, cutting public services except before an election, and spinning more lies than my old mum’s ancient tumble dryer! At least with Labour, and the Greens or Lib Dems, they are upfront about wanting to help people, the Conservatives are just a bunch of “I’m all right, so st*ff everyone else” spivs and friends of billionaires and Russians!

  6. Tom Druitt Reply

    Ask Cllr Bell two questions:

    1. What did the alternative look like (probably even worse… most votes on the council/fire authority/NHS are a choice of cutting X or cutting Y); and

    2. Who cut the budget to put the council and fire service in this position? (Ah, yes of course, it was the Conservatives)

    • Adam Reply

      Are you still running your buses on Diesel Tom? Hipocracy always smells the same, even if it pretends to be green.

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