Proposals to privatise fire services condemned by Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin
Nic Dakin, the Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe, has condemned government proposals to allow fire services to be privatised.
A letter from fire minister Brandon Lewis to the chair of the House of Commons Regulatory Reform Committee has revealed that the government is set to put forward proposals that would mean fire and rescue authorities in England could contract out their full range of services to private companies.
This would mean that over 1200 staff and 30 fire stations in the Humberside region could be employed and run by a private company.
The minister is seeking to push the changes through the little-known Regulatory Reform Committee, avoiding full Parliamentary scrutiny.
Father's Day will soon be upon us, so Don't Forget....
Pop into Alexandra Gifts of Ashby and Pick Up Something for Dad!
Terms: Alexandra Gifts, Alexandra Road, Ashby, Scunthorpe, DN16 2SF.
Contact: 01724 701748
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
Mr Dakin said: "I resolutely oppose the government's plans to allow fire services to be sold off. Local people need to have confidence that fire-fighting in our area is being run for public protection, not company profit.
"Fire and rescue is an essential service which we all depend on for our safety and sometimes our lives. This letter shows the huge risks that ministers are preparing to take with this vital public service.
"Our experience with the Olympics was a forceful lesson that private firms often cost more and deliver less than promised when they bid to take over public services. I will be making my voice heard to campaign for a fire service that puts the public first."
Fire minister Brandon Lewis has responded to claims that the government is considering the privatisation of the fire service stating it is "entirely untrue".
Fire minister Brandon Lewis said: "Any attempt to characterise local plans for an employee-led mutual as privatisation are completely misleading. Public safety is always our first concern and we continue to work with fire and rescue authorities to ensure they provide the most efficient and effective frontline fire service there can be.
"Fire and rescue authorities will remain statutorily responsible for this public service and to suggest otherwise is completely wrong. The government does support co-operatives and employee ownership. We are keen to work with local authorities and their staff wanting to explore the scope for employee-led mutuals where there is local support and backing."
Francis Maude, minister for the cabinet office, said: "Mutuals end the old binary choice between state and privately run public services. This is about frontline staff taking control and having power to do their jobs how they know is best. Across the public sector thousands of employees are forming mutuals and taking control because they're fed up with the wasteful bureaucracy imposed on them by the state and know they can do better. Cleveland Fire Brigade is exploring plans motivated entirely by their determination to protect and grow services for local people."