Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Councillors Paul Robinson and Caroline Fox Resign from Fire Service Review Panel

With David Davis MP outside Goole Fire Station

Cllrs Paul Robinson and Caroline Fox have resigned from the ERYC’s Review Panel, which is presently considering the Humberside Fire Brigade’s proposals to re-structure the Brigade locally, in order that they can publicly campaign against the cuts. The proposal is for Goole to replace one of the full-time pumps at Goole with a retained pump.

Paul, said, “After taking evidence on the first day of the panel hearings last Friday, it became apparent that Caroline and I could better represent our local residents by resigning from the panel so that we could publicly oppose the cuts”.

“We believe that members of the Humberside Fire Authority will be playing fast and loose with the safety of our local communities if they vote through the cuts as proposed. Goole Fire Station provides much of the cover for Howdenshire and I now want to campaign publicly with our local MP David Davis, Prospective Goole MP Andrew Percy, the Fire Brigades Union, and local councillors from ALL parties who are also working very hard to fight these cuts”.

Due to the distances involved in getting to rural communities such as Gilberdyke, Rawcliffe and Holme-on-Spalding Moor, our rural communities are even more at risk as a result of these proposals. The response time of the second pump would increase meaning that it could take much longer for that pump to respond.”

Caroline adds, “The evidence we heard on the first day of the panel was so convincingly against the cuts that I personally felt that as my own ward would be deeply affected by the proposals, it would be better if I removed myself from the panel to help assist the campaign to save the two pumps at Goole.

I find it bizarre in the extreme that in just a couple of years the Humberside Fire Brigade has gone from designating parts of rural East Yorkshire according to different risks to designating practically all of our rural communities as low risk. Given the new housing and development that is taking place in our communities I would have thought that the Fire Authority would be looking at improving the fire cover locally, not reducing it.”

Paul and Caroline add, “We feel so strongly about these proposals that we’ve decided we need to speak out on behalf of our local communities. We will now join with Councillors of ALL parties who have opposed these cuts and we hope that our opposition will act as a warning to Councillors on the Fire Authority that our communities will not take proposals to cut our local services lightly. We must all continue to work together to ensure that the Fire Authority sees sense and listen to the massive opposition to these cuts.”
David Davis MP added, "I welcome Paul and Caroline's principles in resigning from the panel, they will now have more time to oppose the ill thought out cuts that are a potential for disaster. These cuts will directly impact on Howden and Howdenshire in my constituency which rely on cover from Goole Fire Station. That is why I am happy to join the campaign against these proposals. I would urge as many local people as possible to make their voices heard on this important issue."


Anonymous said...

Good on you Paul, about time someone spoke up for our area. If these Councillors vote through the cuts we should vote em out next time.

Holme-on-Spalding Moor

Anonymous said...

Well Done Paul & Caroline, pleased you had the courage of your convictions to take this stance. Goole will not be safe if they remove one of the full time units. How are these retained firemen going to get to the fire station through the traffic at most times of the day? What if the railway crossing is down - do they have blue lights in their own cars, do they have to obey speed limits and highway code?

Well done, good on the Tories - at least two of 'em anyway!


Anonymous said...

Well done Paul and Caroline! It's pleasing to see Councillors cut through the waffle and STAND UP for the communities they represent!! Of course the hard work starts in earnest for you two now, as you've got to lobby hard no less than 66 other Councillors.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see two councillors are 'awake' to the issue here.

The fire service is a professional body deserving much credit for its performance, it has a well deserved place in the nations esteem, it is a sad fact to many people including fire-fighters in this country die in fires and these proposals will accelerate that. The Fire Authority members need to 'keep their eyes open' to this when making the decision to cut the service provided at present.

Brent Huntington said...

The 10 year period from 1994 to 2003. There were 6 Firefighters lifes lost in line of duty in England & Wales. From 2004 to 2007 in just these 4 years since modernisation there has been 12 Firefighter deaths.

This represents a clear trend. You as councillors and Members of Parliament, I am sure are as concerned as i am. For me its a no brainer. The cuts are not justified. Again i stand by my claim the brigade management are mis informing the public. I urge you to reject the proposals.

Brent Huntington
32 Queens Drive

Brent said...

I was pleased to read the Goole Times last week noting both of you have gone on record like myself and oppose the cuts that are been proposed by the management of Humberside Fire & Rescue service. I have lobbied hard on this matter having publicly gone on BBC Radio Humberside and challenge the CFO.

I addressed Goole Town Council as a matter of Emergency, I am pleased to convey to you that they suspended standing orders to allow me to present a case to oppose the cuts. I now see this situation as having a cross party support.

The proposed cut backs will have no doubt serious implications for the surrounding villages of Goole, and in particular the small towns of Snaith & Howden. I served as a retained Fireman at Howden under the late Terry Bray many years ago, I also did my BA training with well known leading fireman from Snaith Barry Lamb who I believe is now retired. I have extensive experience in firefighting and its prevention through further training as a quality manager in construction. Hence the reason like you I felt that I had to speak out at these preposterous proposals.

What they fail to tell anyone is the most crucial thing in dealing with any fire is TIME.

To date Humberside Fire & Rescue Service (HF&RS) Management refute all my public accusations, but so they would. I only deal in facts and to be honest I think I have them on the run. The most worrying thing here is, that they have totally misinformed the Fire Authority and the public. Hope you can both make it to the Goole Town council Meeting on 3rd March which has now been moved to the larger East Riding offices to allow people to speak.

Brent Huntington said...

I have gone on record as saying the proposed fire cuts at Goole are
flawed. Humberside Fire & Rescue Service management continue to mis
inform the public and the Fire Authority. Having attended Goole Town
council meeting last night. I now know that after witnessing the
presentations by both the HF&RS management and the Fire Brigade Union
i still oppose the cuts. The HF&RS management clearly did not present
a case for the cuts. On the other hand the Fire Brigade Union put a
very good case forward for rejecting the proposals. The Goole Town
councillors,nearby ward councillors and members of the public
challenged the proposals with factual evidence and the council voted
unaminously to reject the proposals and advised that other councils do
the same. This now seems to be the case region wide. With all sides of
the political spectrum opposing the proposals and in due turn lobbying
thier respective members on the Fire Authority these proposals should
not go forward. Just a little footnote to finish on i brought it to
your attention about the spin doctors HF&RS are using to a cost of
£23.000, on Saturday the people of Goole got a pamphlet through the
door explaining the proposals as part of the consultation process of
which finishes in 20 days time. These pamphlets cost £13.000 so a grand
total of taxpayers money £36.000 to date just for the spin doctoring
purpose incredible.

Its always a pleasure bringing you these statistical facts of truth.

Brent Huntington
32 Queens Drive

Brent Huntington said...

Well done councillors for voting to oppose the subject matter. You willow after last nights presentations be under no doubt that the facts i presented to you at the last council meeting are now substantiated.

What i now hope is that you get your respective party members sitting on the Fire Authority to oppose the proposals. Looking at the political affiliation of sitting members of the Fire Authority should you be successful the proposals will not go through. From my part i will continue to give you support and more factual evidence as to why the
proposals should be opposed.

Well done

Brent Huntington.