The Mayor of London Boris Johsnon
United Kingdom

The chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), Brian Coleman, has escalated a dispute about shift patterns with the firefighters employed by the London Fire Brigade into a battle that threatens the safety of Londoners. Mr Coleman’s belligerent stance includes threatening to sack the entire workforce of 5,600 firefighters if they do not accept new contracts.

Mr Coleman long maintained that the dispute had nothing to do with LFEPA wanting to make cuts to London’s fire service, but then announced that he wanted to see whether the temporary removal of 27 fire engines from London’s fire stations during strikes could be made permanent: this would represent about a 16% cut in the number of fire engines protecting London. There has been no planning for or risk assessment done on the effect of this cut. Mr Coleman seems to be making policy on the hoof.

The London Mayor Boris Johnson has the power to remove Mr Coleman from office and should do so, for the sake of constructive industrial relations in the London Fire Brigade, and the safety of Londoners.

He also should honour a commitment he made in 2008, prior to his election as Mayor, to defend the resources available to LFEPA. This commitment included the following statement which he made to Fire Brigades Union members in their magazine:

“BJ: I will safeguard LFEPA resources, including equipment and stations, and fight for fair pay and pensions for firefighters. ...

“FBU: Will you give a commitment that there would be no cuts to frontline firefighting resources in London — such as station closures or reductions in establishment levels or appliances — during your period of office?

“BJ: Yes, I will argue for more resources from the government for LFEPA, to make London safer.

“...London needs a mayor who will bang the table to ensure we get funding from the government, and that absolutely means for firefighters.

“Each year, I will argue for more government resources, not less, from ministers.”

For his own credibility and for the safety of Londoners, the Mayor should act now. The details of the situation will change during the lifetime of this petition but the basic point is clear: London’s fire service needs defending against cuts and against Brian Coleman!

We call on the London Mayor Boris Johnson:

(1) to remove Brian Coleman from his post of chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA);

(2) to use his influence to get the threat of the sack lifted from London’s firefighters, and get the 27 fire engines currently in the possession of AssetCo returned to the London Fire Brigade;

(3) to honour his pre-election commitment to “safeguard LFEPA resources, including equipment and stations”.

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The Defend London's fire service: no cuts, remove Brian Coleman as LFEPA chair petition to The Mayor of London Boris Johsnon was written by Vicki Morris and is in the category Government at GoPetition.