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Tory Fire Sale on the horizon?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by monicabilongame, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    So... we have seen the progressive privatisation of the NHS; moves towards privatisation of the Police service, and now the Fire & Rescue Service is in government sights. What next? Will there BE anything left?


    A minister has called for new laws that “would enable fire and rescue authorities in England to contract out their full range of services to a suitable provider”

    All 46 fire and rescue services in England could be sold off to private firms under secret Government plans.

    Local government minister Brandon Lewis calls for new laws that “would enable fire and rescue authorities in England to contract out their full range of services to a suitable provider” in a letter obtained by the Mirror.

    He continues: “I appreciate that the proposals are not without controversy; however these changes will help remove barriers and to increase choices that fire and rescue authorities have to contract out their services.”

    Labour last night hit out at the proposal. MP John Healey said: “This is a privatisation too far.

    "Fire and rescue is an essential public service which we all depend on for our safety, and our lives.

    "Firefighting is a no-go area for privatisation. The first and last concern of our fire services must be public protection not company profit.”

    The Government is already considering handing over Cleveland Fire and Rescue service to a mutually-run company.

    In the letter sent last month to the Regulatory Reform committee, which looks at planned legislation, Mr Lewis says authorities could be handed to a private firm or, as in Cleveland’s case, a “public service mutual.”

    He adds: “Fire and Rescue authorities should be able to adopt alternative models for the delivery, under contract, for some or all of their services.

    "Certain provisions in existing legislation preclude some services from being delivered by alternative providers.”

    England’s 28,245 firefighters could end up with weaker pension and employment rights should the changes be rubber-stamped.

    Mr Lewis announced in December the £20million sale of the Fire Service College to the private sector, with Capita named as preferred bidder.

    Mr Healey added: “Ministers are already selling the national college to Capita. Now they are opening the door to wholesale privatisation of fire services. The Olympics security fiasco showed private firms often cost more and deliver less than promised when they take over public services.”

    Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said last night: “This is staggering and outrageous.

    "It will put lives at risk as emergency services are run on a whim as private companies and their need for profit will come first.

    “We have seen how the public lose out in other privatisations, such as rail, but for emergency services it is even more grotesque as we are there to save lives and property.”

    The Fire Officers Association also voiced alarm.

    A spokesman said: “Staff are extremely concerned it would not only lead to worse terms and conditions but prove to be the stepping stone towards the eventual privatisation of an essential emergency service.”

    A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “We are keen to work with local authorities and staff to explore the scope for employee-led mutuals where there is local support and backing.”
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Jamvic likes this.
  3. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    Emergency services already heavily rely on private contractors for their support and admin functions things like vehicle and machinery maintenance, catering, cleaning and security. Privatisation of these support functions means competition for contracts and brings in efficiencies and savings.
    taxpayer funded front line services are being cut, so why not go the whole way and privatise some of them?

    The problem is though is that we may be borrowing less to pay for public services but national debt just keeps on rising.
    There are many types of privatisation options or ways of reducing the burden on you the tax payer, but what is the alternative to privatisation to keep our emergency services running?
    nomad likes this.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Because it is working so well in the prison system.
    Jamvic and monicabilongame like this.
  5. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    The whole prison system is not working, we are locking up too many people, many with mental health issues, because the political parties want to be seen to be hard on crime. Only about a fifth of prisons are privatised and even in those the state has a significant presence in the running of the institution and how the institution runs its budget.
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    The privatised sections of it are working least well.
    Jamvic and monicabilongame like this.
  7. Burndenpark

    Burndenpark Star commenter

    I heard similar arguments for the health sector...

    Several well publicised ones fell over spectacularly, I know of one that fell over but was kept quiet... The trust involved didn't think it would be very good publicity for people to read about toilets backing up and over flowing, fridges in the canteen being switched off and food spoiling, cleaning not done...

    There is no intrinsic benefit from moving things to the private sector, unless you consider the people working for them getting paid less or the owners getting paid more to be good.
  8. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Chris Grayling is considering nationalising the trains. So he takes them under his wing, does a massive upgrade and then sells them on at a bargain price.
  9. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    Not necessarily, it could end up something like TFL's Overground services.
  10. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Sorry; that's foreign to me.
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  11. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    In June Private Eye reported that the Ministry of Defence's fire and rescue service has just been privatised. It's now to be run by Crapita ...
  12. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    Transport for London (TFL) has taken over and invested in many miles of previously privatised suburban rail routes in London, these are now known as the London Overground network . The result has been improved and better co-ordinated services, trains and stations. its not without its critics, but The Overground is generally viewed quite positively in the Capital . The model could work in other regions and urban hubs in the country. There's no serious call for it to be re-privatised, at least not while there is a Labour Mayor of London.

    A press release below (obviously pro TFL) gives an idea of how TFL works.

  13. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Dam sight better to travel on than the underground as often the air conditioned.
    i can go from here to Richmond town by overground from stratford in comparitive comfort.....or fight in stuffy underground trains for a seat all the way to Richmond.
    They have just undertaken a massive electrification of our local line and increased the capacity of the line.Only problem, they have put parking zones in around all the stations and reduced parking for cars so folk either have to walk of not use them..but thats a different issue and the councils responsible for the lousy parking in Waltham Forest! Seems thier belief is you can walk or cycle as its better for you...albiet in the streets around the stations guess what..less cycle parking spaces. For old folks..you can stay at home unless you can walk. it so happens that to get to my local overground station i have to catch a bus to a bus station,then catch another bus to get to the road that passes the station.
  14. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    at least it guarantees them a highly paid sinecure when they get voted out. they will need one if they an't go and doss about for the EU for even more money.
  15. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    Surely the problem is that every person and family in densely populated 19th century built Waltham Forest wants to own and drive and park at least one car, right next to the station or at the school gates.
    Ina neighbouring borough with similar congestion problems, they are putting in stacked, Netherlands style cycle parking right next to the Overground station. Hopefully yours or TfL will be doing similar soon.
    But as a Londoner you are living in a public transport wonderland compared to the rest of the country. But appreciate that its never easy anywhere for people who are elderly or with disabilities even if it is free.
  16. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Thanks for that. Were there not complaints that TfL was planning to spread its wings away from the capital taking over lucrative lines?

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