A you ready for the FBU lobby of parliament – 7 November?
FBU NEWS REPORT
On Wednesday 7 November Fire-fighters from across the country will be in Parliament to Lobby MPs. They will bring a message loud and clear that the government’s proposals to cut Fire Brigade Budgets will affect the front line and will put lives at risk.
In London, the importance of this has obviously been highlighted by the report leaked to the BBC that 17 fire stations and up to 600 fire-fighter jobs are threatened by cuts. Whatever claims are made by LFEPA politicians it is clear that extremely serious cuts are faced in the London. In addition, underfunding of the Service by Central Government means that our pay and our pensions continue to be attacked.
You will no doubt have heard that the Mayor Boris Johnson has written to LFEPA Chairman, James Cleverly and told him that a final decision on the LFB budget will not take place at the November Authority Meeting. The reason stated is due to the considerable uncertainty about the level of funding we will receive from central government and that there might be a more favourable outcome for us when the announcement is made in December when the Chancellor, George Osborne makes his autumn statement.
This is a welcome development that presents us with a window of opportunity to convince politicians and the public that the Fire Service needs protecting. The 7th November is the ideal opportunity to get our message across to politicians. If the Chancellor is making a decision about increasing the budget with one or two MP’s raising the issue with him, the outcome is likely to be a lot less favourable than if MP’s do in their hundreds.
Therefore the fate of the fire service is in the hands of you the FBU membership. We either grasp the opportunity presented or we don’t. Don’t leave it to someone else. Whoever your MP is contact them without delay to make an appointment. It is particularly important that we lobby Conservative MP’s, as the Chancellor is likely to be more concerned with the views of people within his party.
We also need to focus on London MP’s, particularly those that face a closure within their constituency. Each station that is potentially under threat needs to organise a delegation and contact the MP without delay.
A briefing sheet will be circulated shortly but the key thing is we have the experts, Fire-fighters speaking from their experiences and explaining to MP’s what slashing the fire service will mean in practice.
If you haven’t already contacted your MP do so now! You can find your MP’s contact details and watch a youtube film that explains how to lobby by clicking on the link http://www.london.fbu.org.uk/?p=1733 There is also a pro forma letter to send to your MP. It is important that we contact MP’s in advance so that an appointment can be made.