There is a video at the end of this post we really need you to watch
Before we get back to our proper blogging after a week of heated conversations with an IT support worker- which warrants a post
in its self - we thought we would just demonstrate how two faced Councillors can be.
We would like to share this as a warning to those areas of the country who are currently fighting cuts in fire and rescue provision. Please learn from our mistakes.
Way back in October 2011 we made our first foray into fighting cuts in fire and rescue, and we learnt very quickly that politicians say one thing and then do another.
Below is a snapshot of the Inner East Area Committee minutes - where the local Councillors for the surrounding area assured the public (FCCL included) that they agreed with the then Station Commander Tony Head, that Gipton and Stanks Fire Stations should be saved.
EIAC strongly opposed the closure of the Gipton and Stanks fire stations and
relocation to one base. Members felt this would undermine the safety, health
and wellbeing of constituents if this led to a reduction in service to the area.
EIAC urged local community representatives to participate in the consultation
and contact their local MP’s. Members thanked Station Commander Head for
his presentation and participation in the frank discussions
BUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED WAS THIS ......
Firstly, it was alleged by a Councillor very publicly (over a year after the incident) that the Chair of the Fire Authority Mehboob Khan bullied at least one Councillor into submission. We wrote about it HERE. and if he bullied one we reckon he bullied more.
Ensure your local Councillors are not going to make political decisions behind your back..... pretty much the night before the decision meeting was to be held in our case.
( at least one other Councillor from the same party and ward was unaware that his colleague was going to vote through the closures - we know we have the text message).
Don't just write it down - VIDEO THEM - so when they are up for re election you can play it back to show what they said.
AND TELL THEM WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO.
(if they don't vote not to close stations etc)
If they are in or affiliated to a trades union - make sure their branch is aware that they are potentially voting through cuts that affect peoples lives ( and not just financially - it could kill them). Does a political party trump a trades union ? - nope it doesn't
( just ask Ed Milliband )
Get them to state in the press, on TV and anywhere else in the public domain they are against the proposals.
And last but most certainly not least get to know your local FBU officials - they are your allies and also technical advisers
on any campaigns. (although we do reckon ours might be a bit tired of us by now, bless him)
.AND FINALLY ......
What happened to our politicians is demonstrated perfectly by the video below.....just imagine a lift full of fire officers and a Councillor trying to do what is right.
Instead of doing what was best for the communities they represent - the Councillors did what they were told by a set of overpaid, self serving fire chiefs on ridiculously high salaries!
It takes guts to stand up to authority - we know that for sure.
Timid Councillors + Arrogant Fire Officers = Disaster
It may sound silly but show your local Councillors this video - it may just make a difference.