From the local papers – Rugby Observer:
But all the fire stations would have been saved if an amendment by the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties had been carried
Labour Coun[cillor] Richard Chattaway led a motion for all the fire stations to remain open along with a comprehensive plan showing how current resources could be juggled to ensure all the improvements the Conservatives had said could be made as a result of the closures could still be carried out.
In other words, the Labour group offered a new option which would improve services, keep all of the retained stations and not cost any more money, and the Tories rejected it.
This is about cuts.
From the Coventry Telegraph:
After the crucial vote yesterday, Warwickshire Fire Brigades Union chief Mark Rattray said legal action against a “flawed consultation” would be examined – as well as a strike to protect people’s lives and firefighters’ jobs.
Chief fire officer Graeme Smith responded by saying: “I don’t think it’s in the interests of public safety for strike action, which would put the public at risk.”
But, in an interview with the Telegraph, he could not rule out the closures resulting in potentially fatal increases in journey times for crews responding to 999 calls.
I don’t think that the FBU want to strike (and I assume that most of the people losing their jobs would be represented by the Retained Firefighters Union rather than the FBU anyway, so it’s not simple protectionism), but it’s interesting to see that there is an admission that there could be lives at risk as a result of the closures.
Looking at the way that councillors voted, two Tories from Warwick voted against, and one (Philip Morris-Jones, who represents the Fosse district) abstained. All other Tories from the Rugby area, including the councillor who represents Brinklow (Heather Timms) either voted in favour of the closures or were not in attendance. All Liberal and Labour councillors there voted against the closures.
Update: It is now evident that Heather Timms was present but was unable to vote as she has a relative who works for the Fire Service.