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The Cuts Agenda: Coleman thinks London has too many fire engines

Brian Coleman, the Fire Authority's Chairman made clear that he thinks London has too many fire engines.
Brian Coleman Fire Authority's Chairman thinks that London has surplus fire engines

Fire Brigades Union claims that the cuts agenda is at the heart of London firefighters' dispute.

The Fire Brigades Union claims that the cuts agenda is at the heart of London firefighters' dispute were vindicated on Nov 8th when Brian Coleman, the Fire Authority's confrontational chairman, made clear he thinks London has too many fire engines.

Astonishingly, Mr Coleman wants Fire Authority officials to see if there is an "over supply of appliances" in the capital – and whether the 27 fire engines handed over to private strikebreaking company AssetCo should ever be returned to the stations they were wrenched away from. His threat to front-line firefighting services came in a last-minute emergency amendment tabled to a London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority budget committee.

Ben Sprung, FBU London Regional Organiser, said: "Coleman has denied our dispute had anything to do with cuts in the service for Londoners. This proves that has been the agenda all along. He seems willing to put his vendetta against firefighters above the safety of London. This man is clearly not fit for office."

Matt Wrack, FBU General secretary said: "To change fire cover, the Fire Authority would have to go through a rigorous risk assessment process. This has not been done."

London's 5,500 firefighters have been threatened with the sack unless they sign new contracts. The union called off its planned strike on Bonfire night because of fears that AssetCo could not provide adequate safety cover. But the 27 engines have still not been returned to their stations.

Coleman's latest brazen move comes in advance of next week's arbitration talks.

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