Friday, October 19, 2012

Are Deals Being Done Behind Closed Doors

Last night at the Inner East Leeds Area Committee, shortly after we pointed out to the Councillors that they had failed to notice that in Killingbeck & Seacroft ward there had been an INCREASE in just one year in HOUSE FIRES of 18%!   Cllr Ron Grahame (Labour) and member of the Fire Authority said to the Chair that he considered the site at Killingbeck to be not suitable and that “they” from which we took it to mean the fire authority, were considering a site much lower down York Road at the old Hepworth’s factory, opposite the White Horse Pub.  He clearly stated that this new station would be nearer to the areas of very high risk.

Now correct me if I am wrong (and I am not) Station Commander Nigel Kirk of Gipton at the same meeting he sneakily got through  an 18% increase in house fires without as much as  a murmur from elected members did say that WYFRS HAD ALREADY submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council for a three bay station at Killingbeck.   We discovered the next day on investigation this simply was not true and no plans have as yet gone in.

So  last night by the miracle of modern technology Ron had waiting for him in his inbox by the time he had got on to the next agenda item an email from FCCL.

We said ..........

Dear Councillor,
At the inner east area committee on the 18th Oct 2012 under matters  arising you brought to the chairs attention that your personal preferred option was to build a fire station at the old
Hepworth's site on york road, nearer the area of high risk . FCCL wish to know if this is going to be presented to the fire  authority on Dec 21st. And do you think  as we do that this would  mean that to provide adequate cover Stanks FS would have to remain operational?  

He replied ................

That will be decided when we met as a fire athourity.

Cllr Ron Grahame
Burmantofts & Richmond Hill Ward
Tel: 07742533785
Labour Group

Now on first reading, you realise that he can’t actually spell authority, which is a bit scary as this man votes and makes decisions  on huge multi million pound projects;  but then bells ring as he also mixes his tenses.  That will be decided WHEN WE MET as a fire authority. 

Many of us at FCCL have just as soft a spot for Stank’s brutalist architecture as we all do for Giptons industrial art deco and have jumped on this Freudian slip of Rons like cats on a hot tin roof.

But we are not above a compromise so we sent him this

Cllr Grahame

FCCL requires clarification in regard to the statement "That will be decided when we met as a fire athourity."

Do you mean the fire authority has met albeit informally to discuss the potential of a station at the Hepworth’s site and will be presenting this as an option at the full authority meeting on the 21st  December?

Do you mean it is going to be a labour group proposal ?  Our in house experts lead us to believe that this site is unsuitable and would have significant issues as York Road at that point is divided with a metal barrier and adding traffic lights or indeed a roundabout would incur significant costs. If of course you imply that the station should exit onto the Burmantofts side then this would increase response times significantly as it is  nearly a half mile drive to get back to the front of York Road which would impact on the Richmond Hill side of your ward.

We have a suggestion. Why not a compromise, keep Gipton operational and open a one engine station at the old Netto site at Crossgates?  It has perfect access, decent arterial roads and is located perfectly to cover surrounding areas. It will be cheaper and we believe less controversial at the planning stage.

KInd regards

FCCL team


BUT are deals being done behind closed doors?  Are the fire authority beginning to get cold feet about the massive cuts?  We at FCCL look forward to the ongoing debate.

Which of course brings us nicely round again to station cats and cars in car parks.

Who needs technology and the internet when there is a network of cats linking the WYFRS estate together, and after a meeting regarding the cuts in provision held in Baildon  “Idle cat*” has repurrted (that's NOT a spelling mistake btw)  that yet again senior fire officers parked up their £50k motors and went to the public meeting in the station van.

But in “kittygation”  the station cat at Howarth has told us they justify these valuable high purrformance cars as they can get the driver to a shout in any weather.  Just a little note  aside every station cat is shortly to be issued with a camera as we have offered a case of sardines reward for any cat submitting a picture with their reports to us.

Idle Station Cat demonstrating her four paw drive in snowy conditions 

*Idle station cat would like us to point out that her unfortunate name does not reflect on her operational duties one bit. She is a sleek, high  performance moggy who can be relied on in all weathers. See picture above ( we bet she didn’t cost £50k though).  



Anonymous said...

Good thinking netto is a perfect solution

greenmartin said...

It is a little unfair to pick on Ron - who I know quite well - for a typo, and a not untypical grammatical lapse (or possibly another typo), the arguments against his proposal are so clear in operational and financial terms that this can only be a red herring. Cross Gates is a clear and sensible proposal.

Sarah Covell said...

Unfair! Last year he blatantly lied to me and many others, he deserves every word and many more.

Anonymous said...

Why is this relevant there is no proposal Gipton and Stanks was last year. Fight this years battle don't waste your efforts

Sarah Covell said...

Because the goal posts have moved - last years IRMP was based on what is now false evidence - where is Moortown and Garforth as back up.Where is the FRU at Moortown? That sems to have been tippexed out of the scenario Why is he changing the goal posts even more by suggesting this ? (because people wont vote for him again that's why, he lies!!! )

Anonymous said...

I'm I incorrect in thinking that the Station Managers and above pay most of the cost of their cars and the authority only pay a small %

Sarah Covell said...

i assumed they are all leased, but the cost of the cars is in my opinion a minor part of the issue. Surely the deceit of turning up in a station van is the issue here.

Anonymous said...

Just for information from figures studied today the vehicles provided for senior fire officers are for operational purposes and consequently are not a taxable benefit.