Bolton fire service could be merged with Wigan as it faces £20 million cuts

The Bolton News: Bolton fire service could be merged with Wigan as it faces £20 million cuts Bolton fire service could be merged with Wigan as it faces £20 million cuts

BOLTON’S fire service could be merged with Wigan in a cost cutting measure.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is looking to save £20 million over the next two years and it is believed that one money saving scheme could be to reduce the number of borough managers across the region.

Currently there is one manager for each of the 10 authorities in Greater Manchester, but it is thought that areas could be merged to reduce that number to five.

This could mean the Bolton and Wigan brigades would both fall under the leadership of a single borough manager.

Any posts lost would be done so through officers being moved to other jobs or a process of natural wastage — where people leaving positions are not replaced.

A fire service spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is proposing a zero per cent increase in its part of the council tax bills across the region, making the average cost per household less than £1 each week — one of the smallest precepts in the country.

“At the same time the service, which covers an area more than 400 square miles, is also looking to reduce its overall budget by about £7 million in 2014/15 and a further £13 million by 2016.”

Cllr David Acton, chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Overall we will have reduced our budget by more than £37 million in the six years of austerity — which is about a quarter of our total amount.

“This kind of reduction requires us to constantly review our organisation.

“As it shrinks we have to continuously look at the number of managers, their workload and our frontline.

"No definite proposals have been agreed as per the savings and we’re considering all options.

“Our partners and local people will be consulted when we have clearer plans.”

Gary Keary, brigade secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said the union was yet to be officially consulted about the plans but would be prepared to campaign against changes that would impact on their ability to protect the public.

He added: “As the fire brigade union we will always look to defend not only our members’ positions, but the possible service for the people of Bolton, or Wigan, or wherever the changes are.

“We certainly won’t allow financial restrictions to be given as an excuse to reduce fire services for the people who pay for the service, through their council tax.”

Comments (3)

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1:59pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Puffin-Billy says...

....................
.in a cost cutting measure?

Cobblers. It is not a cost cutting measure.

The taxpayer will pay the same if not more, and the service provided will be reduced.
.................... .in a cost cutting measure? Cobblers. It is not a cost cutting measure. The taxpayer will pay the same if not more, and the service provided will be reduced. Puffin-Billy

3:47pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Puffin-Billy says...

Councillor Cliff Morris, Bolton Council leader, (unlike Cllr Russell Quirk on
Phoenix-FM-Brentwood
-Radio)

http://www.essexfbu.
co.uk/Phoenix-FM-Bre
ntwood-Radio.mp3

is of course unavailable for comment on the subject of cuts to the Fire Service.

Below is an example of the kind of thing which is happening all over the country and in Greater Manchester.


Brentwood Fire Station Cuts: Essex Burns Whilst Managers Earn
Posted on March 12, 2011 by Russell

Last week’s serious fire up the road in Billericay High Street was more devastating than it would otherwise have been because of this ‘new policy’, as about to be introduced in Brentwood, whereby Essex Fire Service ‘ignore’ automatic fire alarms and wait for a person to actually telephone. Essentially, last Thursday evening the fire alarm went off and the fire service HQ waited and waited for an hour or so until the flames were big enough to be seen by passers by from outside the building that was being engulfed.

It’s utterly shameful that expense is saved in this way whilst the 14 senior managers at Essex Fire & Rescue enjoy massive pay increases and expenses. David Johnson, the head honcho, earns£210,000 per annum including bonuses and pensions contributions. His salary has increased by about 8% per annum since he took over in 2005. The total additional management salaries earned since then are the exact equivalent of the money needed to save the second full time crew at Brentwood… £800,000.

And the hard working fire fighters themselves can’t publicly object to what’s going on or else they face the sack as two were subjected to in Castle Point where their fire station also has had retained status forced upon them.

Is this Great Britain or the former Soviet Union?
http://www.fbur12.or
g.uk/2012/02/16/fire
-authority-fail-berk
shire-residents/

Make the wealthy pay more Council tax !
Councillor Cliff Morris, Bolton Council leader, (unlike Cllr Russell Quirk on Phoenix-FM-Brentwood -Radio) http://www.essexfbu. co.uk/Phoenix-FM-Bre ntwood-Radio.mp3 is of course unavailable for comment on the subject of cuts to the Fire Service. Below is an example of the kind of thing which is happening all over the country and in Greater Manchester. Brentwood Fire Station Cuts: Essex Burns Whilst Managers Earn Posted on March 12, 2011 by Russell Last week’s serious fire up the road in Billericay High Street was more devastating than it would otherwise have been because of this ‘new policy’, as about to be introduced in Brentwood, whereby Essex Fire Service ‘ignore’ automatic fire alarms and wait for a person to actually telephone. Essentially, last Thursday evening the fire alarm went off and the fire service HQ waited and waited for an hour or so until the flames were big enough to be seen by passers by from outside the building that was being engulfed. It’s utterly shameful that expense is saved in this way whilst the 14 senior managers at Essex Fire & Rescue enjoy massive pay increases and expenses. David Johnson, the head honcho, earns£210,000 per annum including bonuses and pensions contributions. His salary has increased by about 8% per annum since he took over in 2005. The total additional management salaries earned since then are the exact equivalent of the money needed to save the second full time crew at Brentwood… £800,000. And the hard working fire fighters themselves can’t publicly object to what’s going on or else they face the sack as two were subjected to in Castle Point where their fire station also has had retained status forced upon them. Is this Great Britain or the former Soviet Union? http://www.fbur12.or g.uk/2012/02/16/fire -authority-fail-berk shire-residents/ Make the wealthy pay more Council tax ! Puffin-Billy

9:30pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Puffin-Billy says...

Click on the link below
To sign petition against Government Cuts to
Bolton’s Fire Service

http://www.img.fbu.o
rg.uk/wp-content/upl
oads/2013/11/cutslog
o16.jpghttps://www.c
hange.org/en-GB/peti
tions/uk-government-
stop-attacks-on-fire
-and-rescue-services
-and-ensure-proper-f
unding-that-puts-pub
lic-safety


Senior Fire Officers and the Fire Brigades Union have expressed grave disquiet at the proposed cuts in the level of service to be provided to the people of Bolton, Wigan, and surrounding areas.

The cuts come as a retired fire chief is being paid around £500-a-day as a consultant because cuts have left Greater Manchester Fire Service with a lack of expertise. Greater Manchester Fire Service is employing Dennis Davis, former Cheshire County Fire Officer for five days.

This is an absolute disgrace. This Government’s reckless program of cuts is endangering community safety. We are now standing at the edge of a cliff.

Senior Fire Officers cannot provide the levels of fire cover that Greater Manchester people expect and deserve…there simply will not be enough money in the pot.

Our Fire Service is being starved of council tax money for purely ideological reasons; firefighters, their equipment, and our fire stations will be taken away from our communities whilst private contractors are brought in on an ad hoc basis, to profit at the tax payer’s expense.

Councillor Cliff Morris, Bolton Council leader, (unlike Cllr Russell Quirk on Phoenix-FM-Brentwood
-Radio) is of course unavailable for comment on the subject of cuts to the Bolton's Fire Service.

The operational strategy which forms part of the corporate plan will mean the following cuts in the service provided to homes, schools, hospitals and businesses across this region. In Greater Manchester, the following reduction in Fire Service availability will take place.

During the day time: an 11% cut in the number of fire engines.
During the night time, when most fire deaths occur: a 15% cut in the number of fire engines.
Increased attendance times in 57% of wards throughout Greater Manchester.
Increased attendance times in 22% of very high risk wards in Greater Manchester.
Increased attendance times in 50% of high risk wards in Greater Manchester.
A 69% increase in single fire engine stations, which will reduce overall resilience.

The cuts to Bolton and Wigan Fire services are part of a nationwide Government campaign.




Take note of the article below, Bolton Council.

http://www.fbur12.or
g.uk/2012/02/16/fire
-authority-fail-berk
shire-residents/

The Fire Brigades Union in Berkshire has strongly condemned the decision taken by Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) to accept the Governments ‘one off’ Council Tax Freeze Grant rather than increase the council tax precept.

At its Budget setting meeting on 15th February 2012 members of the Fire Authority voted in favour of accepting the Council Tax Freeze Grant instead of opting for a modest increase of just 3.5% to its share of the council tax. That rise would have equated to just £1.95 for a band D household and given Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) a stable financial footing for the future.

Without this much needed money being placed in the Fire Authority’s base budget, there is now the potential for further cuts. Efficiency savings are already hitting RBFRS hard and the future has become even bleaker. This can only affect the performance of the brigade, which is already failing in certain areas.
Click on the link below To sign petition against Government Cuts to Bolton’s Fire Service http://www.img.fbu.o rg.uk/wp-content/upl oads/2013/11/cutslog o16.jpghttps://www.c hange.org/en-GB/peti tions/uk-government- stop-attacks-on-fire -and-rescue-services -and-ensure-proper-f unding-that-puts-pub lic-safety Senior Fire Officers and the Fire Brigades Union have expressed grave disquiet at the proposed cuts in the level of service to be provided to the people of Bolton, Wigan, and surrounding areas. The cuts come as a retired fire chief is being paid around £500-a-day as a consultant because cuts have left Greater Manchester Fire Service with a lack of expertise. Greater Manchester Fire Service is employing Dennis Davis, former Cheshire County Fire Officer for five days. This is an absolute disgrace. This Government’s reckless program of cuts is endangering community safety. We are now standing at the edge of a cliff. Senior Fire Officers cannot provide the levels of fire cover that Greater Manchester people expect and deserve…there simply will not be enough money in the pot. Our Fire Service is being starved of council tax money for purely ideological reasons; firefighters, their equipment, and our fire stations will be taken away from our communities whilst private contractors are brought in on an ad hoc basis, to profit at the tax payer’s expense. Councillor Cliff Morris, Bolton Council leader, (unlike Cllr Russell Quirk on Phoenix-FM-Brentwood -Radio) is of course unavailable for comment on the subject of cuts to the Bolton's Fire Service. The operational strategy which forms part of the corporate plan will mean the following cuts in the service provided to homes, schools, hospitals and businesses across this region. In Greater Manchester, the following reduction in Fire Service availability will take place. During the day time: an 11% cut in the number of fire engines. During the night time, when most fire deaths occur: a 15% cut in the number of fire engines. Increased attendance times in 57% of wards throughout Greater Manchester. Increased attendance times in 22% of very high risk wards in Greater Manchester. Increased attendance times in 50% of high risk wards in Greater Manchester. A 69% increase in single fire engine stations, which will reduce overall resilience. The cuts to Bolton and Wigan Fire services are part of a nationwide Government campaign. Take note of the article below, Bolton Council. http://www.fbur12.or g.uk/2012/02/16/fire -authority-fail-berk shire-residents/ The Fire Brigades Union in Berkshire has strongly condemned the decision taken by Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) to accept the Governments ‘one off’ Council Tax Freeze Grant rather than increase the council tax precept. At its Budget setting meeting on 15th February 2012 members of the Fire Authority voted in favour of accepting the Council Tax Freeze Grant instead of opting for a modest increase of just 3.5% to its share of the council tax. That rise would have equated to just £1.95 for a band D household and given Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) a stable financial footing for the future. Without this much needed money being placed in the Fire Authority’s base budget, there is now the potential for further cuts. Efficiency savings are already hitting RBFRS hard and the future has become even bleaker. This can only affect the performance of the brigade, which is already failing in certain areas. Puffin-Billy

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