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Bazley - the next Roger Estall

Grant Gillon The Fire Service is still in a shambles as new management pursues the Roger Estall agenda of cuts that threaten safety and aggression towards professional firefighters, Alliance MP Grant Gillon says.

'The Government may have changed the jockey, but the same horse is still on the course,' he commented today following reports of a memo written by Fire Service chief Margaret Bazley, alleging intimidation in the Fire Service.

'No one would condone threats and intimidation, if it's actually true.

'But what the ep isoide reveals is that there is still an atmosphere of mistrust and aggression between Fire Service management and the professional firefighters who serve the public.

'I notice that the Fire Service management have made extensive public comment about intimidation, but they haven't produced any evidence nor taken any disciplinary action against anyone, which makes me wonder if any of it is true.

'The reality is that these stories only ever emerge from a very sick organisation. The Fire Service Commission is accountable for the sickness.They are not doing their job. They are campaigning against firefighters in the manner of Mr Estall, instead of trying to put back together a professional fire service which makes public safety its number one priority.

'The Fire Service Commission is still promoting deep cuts to firefighter numbers, it is still planning to send out over half of all appliances with less than the minimum safe number of crew, and it is still taking its own st aff to court instead of cooperating with them.

'With firefighter numbers down by 400, or around 20%, compared to 1995/96, the number of fire incidents has increased by 35%.

'The Estall approach is still intact at the Fire Service Commission and the public are still being put at risk because of it.

'Unless Mrs Bazley changes tack quickly and learns to work constructively with her staff, she is going to become the next Roger Estall,' Grant Gillon said.


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