Friday, December 21, 2012

Bloodbath at Birkenshaw

Ok ok so we are exagerating just a teeny bit.... but it was  a very interesting meeting.

One of the comments ........

Cllr Brian Selby ----  "the consultation had been exemplary"   and he congratulated the officers and staff of the authority for their  sterling work. He slated "certain blogs and websites" however for making  offensive  and personal remarks about staff. 

Doh Brian!!!   its not offensive - its was factual, constructive and yes a tad close to the bone, but necessary.........



 And actually it worked ......Simon  Pilling & Co did not get the result they wanted. Their "expert"  opinion was challenged and overturned.  

We at FCCL and the FBU and many other groups and individuals have forced (yes forced) a load of councillors who have for years and years done as they were told by Chief Fire Officer Pilling.  his predecessors and his staff  and challenged him and four stations were saved. Four in our opinion isn't enough and we must try harder going into 2013 but by hell we all made a difference.  

We have decided to celebrate our small success to publish  a small book of poetry and pictures used in this campaign to raise money for the FBU Benevolent Fund ---- details will be available shortly. 

Many Thanks for YOUR SUPPORT 

Fire Cuts Cost Lives Team 

Monday, December 17, 2012

So What's New

So Whats New?

Well the Consultation Period is over (or is it?) . Following massive rejection of the proposals, WYF&RS have now watered down their plans  They can be found here->.  
A report of the consultation can also be found amongst the agenda of the meeting due to take place on Friday.( It can be found here)  from Page 91 onwards - but we have copied the relevant pieces:-


4.1 The Authority received  seven letters/emails 
(NOTE -Only SEVEN! -editor) 
of support or indications of no objection to the proposals.  These were from West Yorkshire Resilience Forum, Leeds City Council Safer and Stronger Scrutiny Committee, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, (What about South Yorkshire Fire Service?-Editor) Kirklees Council and two residents from Marsden and Morley. (Must be officers? ed')

4.2 12,037 letters/emails of objection/concern from individuals, groups or organisations were received - 1,309 being unspecific in nature.  
Across the county 
45% of these relate to proposals in the Leeds district, 
22% within the Bradford district, 
13% in Wakefield district, 
9% in the Kirklees district 
and less than 
1% in the Calderdale district. 
This contrasts to a total 2,999 items of formal representation received following public consultation during September – December 2011 regarding seven proposals to change emergency cover in West Yorkshire.
Wow what an increase! We at FCCL wonder why?

4.3 There was a volume of correspondence that opposed changes in the districts of Bradford and Leeds.  258 letters/emails of objection/concern related to changes proposed across the  Bradford District and  14 letters/emails were received relating to  changes across the Leeds District. The issues of concern are captured under the relevant proposals below. 

4.4 Activity/responses relating directly to the eleven proposals was as follows (all figures  excluding responses by the Fire Brigades Union  and Fire Officers’ Association which are outlined at sections 4.15.1 and 4.15.2 below).


It doesn't say, however, how many hits their web site had! 
We suspect the reason is, is because this site had many more! 

We do still have concerns about the way stakeholders were consulted! (See below). 
ONLY 100!

3.1 Approximately 100 stakeholders were identified for direct contact,  including Members of Parliament; district, town and parish councils; neighbouring fire authorities and emergency services; local representative bodies; external employer and employee organisations and voluntary bodies. Representations 
were invited by 30 November 2012.

OK As we at FCCL Have already said, 100, in a county the size of West Yorkshire, IS NOT VERY MANY! and only an increase in 20 on last years!

 Click here to see  What we feel consultation with Stakeholders should be all about!

In the article found here , it comments that- 
"THOUSANDS of residents in more than 100 council wards across West Yorkshire will lose out on emergency response times if radical fire service cutbacks are carried out."

 100 council Wards would equal 300 councillors!

3.2 In recognition of the fact that it was not possible to communicate individually with 
all those who may wish to submit observations, the proposals were  also 
publicised via the internet and intranet, the print (See the links here, here and here and broadcast media. 
This year a consultation email account was provided and published to improve ease of 
communication for the public.  In addition, a consultation email account and 
hotline  was established in the  Public Information Office  for people seeking 
further information and assistance on the consultation process and timetable.


The new proposal now suggest that apart from the removal of appliances from some stations, Garforth, Rothwell and Morley, 
             are down graded to Day Crewing!

Day Crewing is a duty system contained within firefighters' national 
terms and conditions, however, any move on to this system is 
voluntary, as it requires staff to live within  5 minutes of the station.  
Firefighters are suitably recompensed with an on-call allowance, 
turnout fees and rent/fuel allowance.  In theory, there are sufficient staff 
living within the 5 minute zone at all stations proposed to change to the 
Day Crewing system but further work is required to establish interest in 
working this duty system.

What this means is that, apart from all the additional costs and implementation problems, (as above) which they haven't mentioned!

On an evening, 
There will be a delay of 5 Minutes before an appliance can attend if there is an incident! 

WYF&RS Say- The response in the evening and at nights from 
Morley would be delayed by up to five minutes compared to its current performance due to firefighters responding from home and therefore, in some cases, the wholetime shift  Hunslet fire engine would respond faster into Morley’s area.

This is actually worse than the original proposals!-

Councillor Robert Finnigan (Morley Independants) has already e mailed us and shown his support!

And NOTHING is mentioned about the time increase in the revised proposals for!

Back in 2004 WYF&RS tried to downgrade Garforth to Day Crewing (see link here) (and here)
This is what happened then!
Article can be found here!

Victory for Public Opinion!

We at FCCL feel that these new proposals are once again subject to further public consultation and urge every one concerned to immediately contact their  
Local Councillor 
to demand that this now takes place,


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Can you guess how many times the Chief Fire Officer

Well readers,  we have had Simon had an FRU ....... click  HERE to read the article, but Simon also has a rather nice car. 

In fact Steve, Martyn and Craig also have nice cars,  that cost us the tax payer  thousands a year in leasing fees.

IF  these high performance vehicles were used to race through the wind, hail, rain, snow and even “shock horror” sunshine,  we probably wouldn't mind too much.




Can you guess how many times 
the Chief Fire Officer 
turned out to an incident in 2011 /12 ?

10 times15  maybe even 20 !


the answer is 
CFO Pilling (call sign 0101 ) according to his own oracle database did not turn out to an “incident” once in 2011/12 !

SO,  that begs the question .............Should he have a car that is deemed “tax free” because he allegedly needs it for operational reasons? 

In fact we know that some of the new NHS Commissioning Boards are recalling lease cars and making staff use their own cars for “operational use” this includes NHS Senior managers and even includes some community nurses and midwives. Now we at FCCL would say a community nurse probably uses their car  for work every day, and Simon and Co don't. 

So, below is a table of how much the cars cost for the WYFRS top table and how often they have been used to attend an incident  / emergency ......... and we don’t mean that quick sprint to the supermarket when they have run out of milk. 

Call sign
No of Incidents attended
Cost of car per annum








And of course DCFO Beckley is part time - but does he get  a full time tax free allowance for his car ?


And we have to admit although we are outraged by what we have learnt,  we here at FCCL are not tax accountants. So we have done the responsible thing and sent the information about the issue and expressed our concerns to  Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs................... lets see what they define as operational use.

We would also like to know why the CFO gets a flashier car than the others ................?  Surely his ego doesn’t need the boost of a better car – how petty,  and in these days of belt tightening, what a waste – look after the pennies and all that!!! Mind you when you earn of £160k a year do you actually know what a penny is ?   Click  HEREto learn more about salaries at the top table 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Fred Nietzsche & The Fire Brigade

Well,  we hear you say - what has Frederick Neitzsche got to do with Fire & Rescue ? 

The answer is simple........


Nietzsche was well known for his irony, which some would interpret as sarcasm, (i mean as if !!! )  ----- today we were reminded of one of Nietzsche's thinner works when we learnt that  there was a four pump mill fire in Haworth, which commenced at 6am and was closed at 12 noon. 


that nice low risk rural community where four pump fires are 




(if of course it is deemed to be an accident by the  powers that be) 

Today at 6am a fire broke out at  Lees Mill, Shepherd Croft, HAWORTH   in an area on the ground floor approx  15m x50m 

4 engines attended - Crews from Keighley, Haworth and Bingley attended 

and strangely enough the buildings postcode 

BD22 8RZ  

is deemed VERY LOW RISK 
 according to WYFRS !!!!

 and of course "post cuts"  two of the attending engines simply wouldn't be there to attend. Engines would 
have to be sent from further afield........ and of course  pre cuts, post cuts and during the cuts one thing will not change -

 a fire doubles in size every minute........ 

So to use Fredrick's words we at FCCL say 

"One day associated with our name  West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue  there will be a recollection of something frightful, of a fire like no other in West Yorkshire, and of the profoundest collision of conscience" * 

* please note we here at FCCL have fully working consciences -trouble is we are not sure  who at the fire authority and fire service have them. Because surely if there is a fire  they will all be very busy indeed blaming each other for the cuts in provision............. but by then it will be 


Details of the fire can be found HERE at the Keighley News Website. ......... 

To read more of how businesses are affected by fire read our article "Businesses Down the Pan which is available HERE

A mill fire which devastated a Haworth Mill on Aug 14th 2010 demonstrates what fire can do to both buildings and businesses is below ............. seems fires in Haworth are not as rare as WYFRS seem to want us to believe. 

Monday, December 03, 2012

HOW MANY !!!!!!!

We here at FireCutsCostLives need to say a big THANK YOU 

When we started this blog in September  we aimed to get 1751 hits

(one more than WYFRS had on their site during the 2011 consultation period)   

In September we had  1,214

By October we had 10,928 hits in one month 

And by November we had 28,859 hits 

This gives a grand total throughout the 12 week period of consultation of 41,001 hits  

As we were directing our traffic to the WYFRS website we wonder how many they got?