Sunday, November 18, 2007

Liverpool LibDem slammed by Merseyside Chief Fire Officer

LibDem Councillor Tom Marshall has been roundly rebuked by Merseyside's Chief Fire Officer, Tony McGuirk.

The Chief was sent a copy of a LibDem leaflet that Cllr Marshall has distributed, claiming that "Belle Vale fire station is under threat of closure" and that "lives are at risk."

In the leaflet Marshall reproduces his planned motion to our next council meeting which says "We note with alarm the intention of the Labour led Fire Authority to cut the level of service provided by fire crews at stations in Belle Vale and Allerton."

There is the ubiquitous petition to "save Belle Vale fire service".

The Chief has written an open letter to Cllr Marshall which is published on their website here.

In it he says "I write with regard to the attached leaflet which has been circulated in your name and I assume therefore is sent from you. The leaflet is misleading, incorrect and disappointingly misrepresentative of the facts.

I believe it is important for Elected Members to portray important public information with accuracy, and sadly the leaflet, as regards Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is as far removed from the facts of the matter. I would therefore like to correct some of the statements made in the leaflet and I would ask that you please pass on these corrections to your constituents." - I bet he doesn't!

He also says

The Fire & Rescue Authority
• Does not intend to make any changes to the level of fire cover in Belle Vale;
• Nor to vary its response times and targets which are among the very highest
in the country.

And then, he gives some very good news for the area

"The Fire & Rescue Authority is very mindful that Belle Vale has problems
associated with deprivation and the loss of community facilities. You may not be
aware that as part of our renewal of our premises and our remodeling of the fire
stations we are developing 8 new state of the art fire stations across Merseyside.
One of these will be a brand new fire station at Belle Vale, and I hope you welcome this major investment by the Fire Authority.

This will be a brand new fire station incorporating extensive community facilities that will be available for local people and allow us to ensure that our world leading community fire safety work continues to be delivered in the local area."

I had to laugh at this next bit

"I would also add that the fire engine you use in your leaflet to draw attention to the leaflet, is not a Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service appliance. If you wish to use images that illustrate the true professionalism of the Fire & Rescue Service of Merseyside then please contact us and we can supply you with images that would portray a much better quality service to the communities of Belle Vale and Allerton than portraying the very old appliance in your leaflet."

and concludes by saying

"There are no cuts whatsoever to the communities of Belle Vale and Allerton,
there are no closures to the stations of Belle Vale and Allerton and there are
no threats of any such closures. There will in fact be a brand new fire station
for Belle Vale."

The Chief Fire Officer was far too polite to point out that the LibDem Leader of Liverpool City Council and the Chief Whip of the LibDem group are both fire-fighters, I would love to know what they think of this leaflet and this response. I should imagine they are very red-faced indeed.

Another shameful episode on the road to the downfall of Liverpool LibDems surely?


Jim Mackrell said...

Yeah but apart from that the leaflet was ok?

firefighter - liverpool said...

i am a firefighter and member of fbu.We are threatened with the new LLAR system for belle vale which will mean less firefighters on duty and so less available to go to fires. this is fact in fire authority papers. voted for by labour councillors.they dont care. whetheryou like t marshall or not a least he wants to stand up for the firefighters and people in that area.

Louise Baldock said...

Hello firefighter

LLAR was voted for by LibDem councillors too according to the Chief Fire Officer's letter to T Marshall....!

I have been sent a copy of Cllr Marshall's reply to the Chief Fire Officer which I will try to reproduce here in the message section if it is not too long.

Then we can see just how much he stands up for local people in his area, or for firefighters.