Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton is planning to turn Cleveland Fire Brigade into a â€˜mutualâ€™. This is bad news for firefighters, bad news for our service and bad news for the public. Mutualisation would:
Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland has said: â€œIf the government and chief fire officer continue to push these proposals, there is a real risk that our fire brigade could be privatised. There is a total lack of transparency. These proposals will not mitigate the cuts the brigade faces, and, ultimately, we should not even consider exposing the fire brigade to the risk of privatisation.
But Cleveland firefighters can stop this process. Mutual organisations are supposed to be employee-led. CFO Hayton didnâ€™t bother to ask you whether you wanted this. He went ahead for his own reasons. He has accused the FBU of scaremongering â€“ but every warning weâ€™ve given has turned out to be true.
The FBU has commissioned a survey with YouGov to demonstrate how firefighters themselves feel about mutualisation, and results will be published soon. In the meantime, feel free to contact your MP â€“ particularly if you work in Cleveland or nearby â€“ to register your opposition and ask for concerns to be raised in Westminster.
You can contact details for your MP and other elected representatives at www.theyworkforyou.com
In the meantime, watch this space for more campaign developments.