Redbridge firefighters’ morale ‘at an all time low’

Firefighters say that changes to working hours and a �proposed ban on overtime has left morale “at an all-time low”.

Ron Waite, Fire Brigades Union representative for �Redbridge, said that “antisocial” work times given to them by bosses and uncertainty over the future of London’s fire �engine fleet has left fire crews fuming.

An independent review for London’s Fire and Emergency Planning Authority this week said that the service could save some �2million by cutting down on planned overtime.

Mr Waite said: “Although we are happy there is not going to be industrial action, things are not resolved – it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.”

The news comes after it emerged that AssetCo, which owns and maintains London’s fire appliances under a �30million contract, has been �summoned to court by the Inland Revenue over tax debts.

Mr Waite said: “The concern we have is what happens to London’s front-line fire �engines. Will we still have cover if AssetCo goes bust?

“At the very least who is going to service the machines?”

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But a London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “We plan for all events that could affect the fire and rescue service we �provide and do not anticipate an impact on fire engines.”

Fire Authority chairman Brian Coleman said: “If, as a result of industrial action, we have identified ways to make savings in how we work without affecting the service we provide, we have a duty to change.”