Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fight for a national Fire Service hots up as Councils oppose fire merger out of self-interest, time to burn local government’s trough down

Dear All

Isn’t funny when someone tries to make changes for the better that the first thought of local government leaders is to ‘protect the trough’?

Now, the fight to have a single Scottish Fire Service is taking shape with rank and file fire fighters accusing local government leaders of acting out of self-interest.

Progress is always paved over the bodies of the stupid and useless.

The Scottish Fire Conveners Forum (SFCF) recently flung its unhappiness into the public domain by challenging a statement by ministers that there was a “compelling case” for one service covering the whole of Scotland, rather than the current eight.

Incidentally, I proposed a national fire service in September 2010, along with a national Police Force at my party’s national assembly in Perth.

Roddy Robertson, an Executive Council member of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU), is questioning the motives of the SCFC.

So, what is the problem?

If the number of regions is cut this means that there will be no jobs for the current eight conveners who are appointed from local councils to serve on fire boards.

Out on the street, no trough money!

Mr Robertson said:

“I think that there’s a fair deal of self-interest”.

He added:

“It would be a classic case of turkeys voting for Christmas because they enjoy remuneration for being the chair of a board on top of their salary for being a councillor. There would be a financial loss to some of these people.”

As well as speaking out against the forces of status quo, Mr Robertson said the FBU accepted it was no longer tenable to have eight regional fire services.

The case for better and more streamlined management is clear cut in my opinion, front line protection is paramount and savings can like the health service be ploughed back for improvements.

I would even suggest that the service should sell its own scratch card to raise funds in National lottery outlets.

And the same with the health service, people would buy these cards in the normal way.

Another argument for another time perhaps!

Control of the Fire and Rescue Service is a local government function but really it should be returned to Holyrood.

Fiefdoms only benefit those at the trough and kill innovation.

Again, this is a classic case of fear stopping progress.

And if local councillors want a role they will have to get with the programme.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

100% behind you on change said...

well said the Laird.