Firefighters set for more strike action

PUBLISHED: 08:33 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

Terry Hutt with other campaigners

Terry Hutt with other campaigners

FIREFIGHTERS are planning more strike action in their protest over cuts to the service. They will be out on strike tomorrow (Friday) from 2-10pm and on Wednesday over the same hours. They are protesting over cuts approved by Herts County Council which wil

FIREFIGHTERS are planning more strike action in their protest over cuts to the service.

They will be out on strike tomorrow (Friday) from 2-10pm and on Wednesday over the same hours.

They are protesting over cuts approved by Herts County Council which will see changes in the working arrangements at Royston Fire Station and a cut of two full-time firefighters.

A Fire Brigades' Union spokesman for Royston firefighters said: "Negotiations are still going ahead, but we haven't got any news on what's happening and I don't think we will."

If talks are not successful firefighters are going on strike again tomorrow.

He continued: "No-one wants to go on strike, but we are trying to protect the community.

"We have tried to negotiate, but haven't been successful so to strike is our last resort. Herts County Council is just not listening."

Talks between the FBU and the fire service were continuing this week.

The spokesman added: "The strike on Saturday was well supported by everyone at the station."

The strike left just 20 firefighters on duty across the county from the normal 120 who are on call in case of an emergency.

During the eight-hour strike there were just six emergency calls to the service.

Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher said although the service would be "stretched" during the strike period there were not any plans to call in the Army as cover.

He said: "We have been working hard on contingency plans, but there is no easy solution without military cover which the Government has refused to provide."

Tony Smith, vice-chairman of the FBU Herts, said: "If Whitehall is experimenting to see what happens if there is no military cover then that is inexcusable."

Cllr David Lloyd, the county council executive member for community safety, said he was "disappointed" the strike had gone ahead.

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