"In our professional opinion…fires, fire deaths and fire related injuries will begin to rise…" Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities
When they first grabbed power, Nick Clegg and David Cameron waffled on about how everything should be`fair' for the country… Clegg stated in 2010 that "It is simply not acceptable that the circumstances of a child's birth can become a life sentence of disadvantage."
Now, it seems to be that it's not only the social class that you're born into which provides a `life sentence of disadvantage' but also the place where you live. And that the two are inyimately related.
Yesterday the Salford Star published figures which showed that the poorest cities in England are being hit by the harshest ConDem cuts – with the Government slashing £152 a year for every person in Salford, compared to an average cut of £61 per person in the rest of the country (for full story click here).
Today comes news of a motion to next week's full Salford Council meeting being brought by Swinton North councillor Jim Dawson, condemning unfair ConDem cuts to the fire brigade.
Part of the motion reads… "The distribution of government funding, through the Formula, now favours `Shire Fire and Rescue Authorities' (Combined Fire Authorities) and protects London, at the expense of the urban/regional cities.
"Between 2011 and 2013, GMFRA [Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority], West Midlands, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Authorities will shoulder around 80% of the cuts compared to the rest of the Fire Services across the country. Shires, combined authorities and London between them will shoulder just short of 20%. Indeed, six of these Fire Authorities have - perversely - seen grant increases in the last two years…"
The Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities has slated the Government's unfair funding plans for the years 2013-2015, and reckons that if the cuts are at the same 27% level as last year, the six Metropolitan areas which include Greater Manchester will lose more than 2600 fire fighters, over 700 fire service support staff, more than 100 fire engines and 31 fire stations.
AMFRA told Parliament in the summer that, as a result of such cuts,"In our professional opinion…fires, fire deaths and fire related injuries will begin to rise…"
Councillor Dawson's motion to Salford Council adds that if the ConDem Government doesn't re-adjust its funding "to ensure greater fairness", Greater Manchester which has already had £6.5million cuts this year, will be faced with "further significant reduction of firefighters…fewer fire appliances, and potentially closures of Fire Stations".
A Government research paper has already shown that you've got more chance of being a victim of fire through Nick Clegg's `circumstances of a child's birth'… It stated, "There are great (four-fold) differences in the rate of dwelling fire/casualty arising from differences in socio-demographic factors such as deprivation, disability, being single and unemployment."
It's perverse that the ConDem Government is cutting fire funding the most for the very areas where `deprivation, disability and unemployment' prevail.
The motion calls on the Government to introduce "a fairer Grant Formula model for GMFRA and other Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities".
In David Cameron's Tory conference speech in 2010 he told the country… "Fairness means giving people what they deserve…"
We'll let people draw their own conclusions…
Councillor Dawson's motion will be discussed at the full meeting of Salford Council next Wednesday 21st November at the Civic Centre from 9:30am