Search

Two fire engines ‘temporarily’ removed from Newham still not returned – more than a year on

11:08 29 August 2014

Firefighters stike outside Plaistow fire station last year. Plaistow is one of two Newham stations that lost a fire engine

Firefighters stike outside Plaistow fire station last year. Plaistow is one of two Newham stations that lost a fire engine 'temporarily' to deal with strike action - and still have not had it back (pic: David Mirzoeff)

Archant

Two fire engines “temporarily” removed from Newham fire stations to cover strike action still haven’t been returned – more than a year on.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) bosses stripped the appliances from Stratford and Plaistow on August 14 last year. The move attracted criticism from union officials that the brigade was prejudging the outcome of a strike ballot, then still two weeks away.

LFB bosses said it was part of a contingency plan to provide cover in the event Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members took industrial action over pensions. The Newham engines were two of 27 taken across the capital.

A spokesman for the LFB has now said the appliances haven’t been returned because FBU industrial action has been continuing.

FBU regional secretary Paul Embery called the continued absence of the engines “unacceptable”.

“The London Fire Brigade receives seven days’ notice of any strike action,” he told the Recorder, “and that is ample time to arrange for the engines to be removed for use as strike cover.

“Over the last year, strike periods have been infrequent, but for some reason the brigade refuses to return the engines in between strikes. This reduces the cover available to people in Newham and puts them at greater risk. It’s difficult to see any justification for the ongoing situation.”

Since the first strike in September 2013, firefighters have embarked on a series of walk-outs, including eight consecutive days of action as recently as July.

LFB would not comment on the whereabouts of the borrowed vehicles, but London fire commissioner Ron Dobson has previously explained his organisation has a “legal responsibility” to prepare ahead of firefighter strike action.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly,” he said last August when the original decision was made.

“But I need to ensure contingency plans are in place, which is why I’ve arranged for the temporary removal of 27 fire engines.”

Members of the FBU are striking as part of a bitter dispute with the government over changes to the pensions.

The reforms raise the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 60, which the union has called “unacceptable, unworkable and unrealistic”.

The government has said further strike action is “only counter-productive”.

Read more:

Engines lost at five east London fire stations amid strike fears

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

08:00
Hoskins Close residents won a victory on mould in their homes

Tenants and residents celebrated a victory against mould by baking “mouldy” gingerbread house biscuits for the council.

Yesterday, 15:45
Representatives from What You Do Matters with the shoeboxes

Supporters of What You Do Matters have helped the organisation smash their Toy Appeal target by collecting 339 shoeboxes full of gifts.

Yesterday, 11:40
Young patients at the Royal London Hospital receive their gifts. From left:  Rhyanne Gasper, 14, from Newham, Naeem Agbongbon, 8, from Ockenden, Essex, Eron Ufuah, 9, from Canning Town, and Harshika Partheepan, 4 months, from Newbury Park, with volunteers from the Kindness Offensive Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Children being treated in hospital over Christmas received hundreds of gifts in a surprise visit by well-wishers.

Royal London Hospital
Yesterday, 11:19
The cellar in Betty's old house where she cowered as a child

From the baby-sized gas mask to the make-shift beds, Betty Sexton has had a poignant year saying goodbye to her old belongings.

London

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition