Who: Essex firefighters and supporters
Where: Opposite Brentwood fire station, North Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4UZ
When: 10am Thursday 12thÂ June 2014
On Thursday firefighters and supporters from across Essex will take their campaign directly into the Brentwood constituency of Eric Pickles â€“ the minister with overall responsibility for cuts to firefightersâ€™ pensions and cuts to fire and rescue services.
Firefighters and supporters will begin their demonstration alongside Brentwood fire station picket line before undertaking street campaigning to raise public awareness by distributing leaflets to the public.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union are on strike for 24hrs from 9am on Thursday 12thÂ June and from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 21stÂ June.
On 23 May Picklesâ€™ Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) launched the final, public consultation on firefighter pensions.
But firefighters are outraged that DCLG is refusing to release alternative pension proposals they have admitted to being in possession of since 19 March.
Riccardo la Torre, chair of the FBU in Essex, said:â€œMr Pickles likes to preach the gospel of â€˜open and transparent governmentâ€™ but then does the opposite himself by refusing to release alternative options to DCLGâ€™s unworkable, unaffordable and unfair proposals for our pensions.
â€œHis own actuaries have confirmed the alternative proposals remain within the Treasuryâ€™s financial parameters. But heâ€™s choosing to provoke more strikes rather than come clean by putting those proposals on the table. It shows DCLGâ€™s formal, public consultation is really a sham.
â€œAt the same time the fire service is suffering unprecedented cuts, hitting frontline services and resulting in drastically-reduced numbers of firefighters throughout the country, putting both the safety of the public and firefighters themselves at risk.
â€œNo firefighter wants to be on strike but we are being left with no other option.Â Â Mr Picklesâ€™ does have other options; he has the power to put the alternative proposals on the table knowing they have the potential to avert further strikes. That is the message we will be taking to the people of Brentwood today. If Mr Pickles continues to ignore all of the evidence and continues to turn a deaf ear to his own preaching of openness and transparency, then we will be campaigning with the voters of Brentwood to let their disappointment be known via the ballot box.â€