Thursday, January 07, 2016

Money for Nothing, but you Quit for free!

Living your life in the public domain is for  some people  a way of life. Many newspapers and magazines thrive because members of the public wish to read lots of mindless and facile stuff about "celebrities"  (Although to be fair Dr's surgeries would be dead boring without reading materials like that, even if they are several years out of date.)

Let's be clear, we aren't averse to a spot of gossip, to use the appropriate cliché  "there's no smoke without fire"  There has been a certain dismissal recently, which in our opinion (with only a few selective titbits at our disposal) should have most definitely resulted in one of these
                  To claim  or not to claim, that is the question!

But ended in this .........

 


 
However we understand that particular amount, although totalling  more that a chief fire officer gets (we won't say earn)  in a week is small fry compared to the whopping £42,000 that Jim Andrews, the Chair of South Yorkshire happily handed over to several senior staff during a period of perfectly legal industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union. We could rabbit on about the who, what and where but this has had a significant amount of coverage in the press.  Bottom line is these people were contracted to work whatever hours were required of them and had no provision for overtime payments in their contracts. If do you fancy having a read at the shameful episode this article gives a good explanation of why we and many other people are campaigning for Cllr Andrews and CFO Courtney to resign.  
 
But lets put all that aside and take a more in depth view of the man who made the decision to pay the "overtime" - Cllr James Gregory Andrews, BEM If you click on his name it will take you to his declaration of pecuniary interests, we are interested in particular his declaration under para 2d - Body whose principle purpose is to influence public opinion or policy. 
 
 
A spot of amateur handwriting analysis clearly shows he is much fonder of the LABOUR PARTY than UNITE the union, in which union doesn't warrant the use of uppercase and sort of trails off into the distance, but it is UNITE and Cllr Andrews membership of it that made us howl with laughter - the man is in our opinion clearly a hypocrite of the highest order.
 
Let us show you our reasoning below
 
 

UNITE are very clear on the subject of FOI's - in fact they wrote a response to the Independent Commission for FOI's call for evidence (20 Nov 2015)

  
Unless you are a Labour chair of South Yorkshire FRS !!!!
So come on Jim you know you want to resign really !
 
It seems bizarre that a councillor who publicly allies himself to the biggest Trades Union in the country would covertly give thousands in payments to management to basically break a lawful strike !
 
When an audit revealed -
 

...... the payments, which officers received for working during strikes over the last two years, were withheld from public scrutiny because they were considered too “sensitive”.


and that FOI approving UNITE Union man Cllr Jim Andrews

 PERSONALLY APPROVED THE SECRET PAYMENTS

 
Now we do know he isn't a fan of democracy as he recently blocked a proposal to have a vote of confidence in......yes you guessed it
 
HIMSELF.... 
 
And from the horse's mouth Neill Carbutt, Brigade Secretary of the South Yorks FBU
 
"He stopped a question and statement from us (the FBU) on our position of no confidence in him and chief... He stopped Barnsley trade council speaking, Yorkshire post and a member of public. Apparently he could as he's the chair?"

Is this a man that UNITE the UNION wish to have in their ranks as a Brother ?

 
A man who conceals payments, refuses to allow perfectly reasonable questions at PUBLIC meetings, declines questions from the legitimate press  (gawd knows what they all get up to in private!)
 
 
 
But for now it appears Cllr Andrews is wearing a coat made from
 
 

As things sure as hell aren't sticking to him......

 
But we reckon that might not be the answer, personally we consider the fact that shortly after he very kindly gave Courtney and Co extra money he was awarded the BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL and if you read the announcement it is very specific
 

Councillor James Gregory ANDREWS

Deputy Leader, Barnsley Metropolitan Council and Chairman,

 South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

 

For services to Local Government.

 

 

It was awarded in the

New Years Honours of 2015 !!! 

 

It's not us is it?

 

Do you also smell a

 

 

 

To date Cllr Andrat (whoops sorry,  we mean Andrews) has apologised but steadfastly refuses to resign as does CFO Courtney.

We think this is the ultimate insult to the FBU and members of the public

 

 

WHY????

 

 

 

Tomorrow we will write more regarding the Seven Principles of Public Life  something else that appears to have disappeared without trace recently.
 
 
 







 
 
 
 
 

 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Pots and Kettles ACO Walton

There are a lot of posts this evening about the emergency services who on this festive evening will be working just the same as any other day of the year. With heavy rain and bad weather on the way and both incidents and response times on the up,  it will be far from the lazy Christmas many of us will have.

They will be missing this ..........




 
Perhaps even this .........
 
 






But hypocrites they most certainly aren't
 

unlike ACO Dave Walton of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue who committed a twitter faux pas today that we personally think was an insult to the committed operational staff of WYFRS who are working over the festive period.

 
  

Today, Christmas Eve he tweeted this



 

 But on the 22nd he tweeted this.



We have to confess we do love his tweet about    Ignoring media hype about firefighters with truncheons & cops with hoses-Is move to Home Office good for FRS?





Which we basically interpret as "@?*& goes my chance to be a CFO" 

 

With the magnificent total of 39 votes we suspect many in the Chief Fire Officers Association members at Birkenshaw agree with him it's not a great idea.  Let's face it who would want  Theresa May as your boss!


We will no doubt talk more about the police and crime commissioners in  2016.


But for now there are just two things


1. to David Williams , West Yorks FBU brigade secretary who burst out laughing when he heard I had a spinning wheel  - been warned sweetie with another FOUR YEARS of cuts coming you might just end up with the FRS equivalent  - a bucket of water.


2. Santa has brought our present a little early - the site is still under construction but ladies and gentlemen  we present (da da daaaa)  



firecutscostlives.com







Monday, November 16, 2015

Convenant on Idle Fire Station

We read with interest the article in Bradford's  Telegraph and Argus that states that a land swap is  to be done between West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Incommunities a local housing association and it is to be questioned by Government Inspectors.


Perhaps the question really to be asked should be  - can the land at Idle be used for anything other than a fire station?

Well actually we know the answer to that

NO  - it can't

In fact the deeds are very specific


"For the benefit of the said Summerfield Estate at Idle belonging to

the Vendors or the part thereof for the time being remaining unsold and

so as to bind the property hereby conveyed the Corporation hereby

covenant with the Vendors that they the Corporation will not erect or

permit to be erected thereon or on any part thereof any building other

than a Fire Station or building ancillary thereto and will not carry on

or permit to be carried on upon any part of the said property any noisy

noxious or offensive trade or business other than as aforesaid."



 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 



Monday, July 14, 2014

Fire Engines to be replaced with VW Caddy Vans

Here at FCCL we have had issues before with small vans  replacing Fire Engines, in fact one of our poetic masterpieces was "Simon Had an FRU" which if you fancy a constructive and informative giggle is available here 

But today at FCCL HQ the red mist descended when we were sent an email from ACO Rhodes to his staff in regard to the periods of legitimate Industrial Action taking place by the FBU over the next 8 days. 




Lets be honest here we have seen and heard some stupid things that senior officers have done  but this one most definitely takes the West Yorkshire Tax Payers biscuit 





Below is the email  in its entirety 


Between the periods of industrial action (IA) that are taking place from the 14th to the 21st July 2014, a decision has been made not to return appliances to their home stations as has previously been the case. 
  
Therefore, some crews will not have an appliance available for the duration of this series of IA periods and consideration has been given as to how to utilise these crews.   

They have been provided with a VW Caddy van which has adequate storage space for community safety fitting equipment and small ladder, which should be stored in the vehicle for the duration of these IA periods. There is also adequate storage space for the crew’s fire kit.

This will enable Home Fire Safety Checks, Operational Risk Visits and other activities to be carried out by personnel whilst enabling crews to be recalled for operational deployment if required.

During the day shift, crews will be allocated one of two tasks:

1. Carry out HFSC’s, Operational Risk Visits, training and maintenance within their own station ground

2. Carry out a targeted risk reduction campaign in the Dewsbury/Batley areas

To aid planning, a rota for daily tasking has been developed so that crews know which tasks they are to undertake.

During the night shift, crews are expected to perform tasks as normal including administrative tasks, training, E-learning or risk visits.

Again where necessary, crews may be recalled to FSHQ for operational deployment.


ACO S Rhodes Silver Commander



AND below Steve is our response. 



Between the periods of industrial action (IA) that are taking place from the 14th to the 21st July 2014, a decision has been made not to return appliances to their home stations as has previously been the case.  Really - who made that decision and where is it documented, Are the councillors on the Fire Authority aware of this ? 


Therefore, some crews will not have an appliance available for the duration of this series of IA periods and consideration has been given as to how to utilise these crews. Many of West Yorks Stations consist of just one or two pumps. Will this mean that some stations HAVE NO FIRE ENGINE AT ALL!!!! What about retained stations, will there  be pumps at these. 


They have been provided with a VW Caddy van which has adequate storage space for community safety fitting equipment and small ladder, which should be stored in the vehicle for the duration of these IA periods. There is also adequate storage space for the crew’s fire kit.
This will enable Home Fire Safety Checks, Operational Risk Visits and other activities to be carried out by personnel whilst enabling crews to be recalled for operational deployment if required. So lets get this straight, if there is an incident, you get back in your van and drive to FSHQ to pick up a pump to go back to an incident !!!!!!!!  



During the day shift, crews will be allocated one of two tasks:

1. Carry out HFSC’s, Operational Risk Visits, training and maintenance within their own station ground.   BUT what happens if there is an incident - surely this will increase response times even more. 
And correct me if i am wrong BUT DONT YOU NEED A PUMP AND ALL ITS KIT TO TRAIN WITH ??????? 

2. Carry out a targeted risk reduction campaign in the Dewsbury/Batley areas. 
Ahh yes we know about Dewsbury and Batley  - the stations you decided to close and commented that it must be ok because nobody bothered to respond. Nobody bothered because WYFRS and shame on them the Councillors in those wards didnt care enough to consult with their constituents. Setting Batley FS a target of a 1,000 extra  HFSC this year was pretty unachievable without some serious intervention, we did wonder how you were going to pull that one off! 


To aid planning, a rota for daily tasking has been developed so that crews know which tasks they are to undertake. Such as . Wash floors, clean windows and change station cats litter trays maybe!  We understand the  strike breaking scabs leave quite an odour behind. 

During the night shift, crews are expected to perform tasks as normal including administrative tasks, training, E-learning or risk visits.  
ooh lets think about this one,  yet again no pump = no cover. And although we dont doubt you have spent many a night swotting at your companies expense  we would prefer our crews to be within a short sprint of a  pump. 


Again where necessary, crews may be recalled to FSHQ for operational deployment. 
You call it operational deployment - we call them fires and  road traffic accidents and we know you are being grossly irresponsible  by taking away pumps from competent, experienced crews.  



ACO S Rhodes Silver Commander

Bless - nothing like throwing your weight about is there ?  
ACO Rhodes would have been quite sufficient.  But we know you like to feel important. So we shall join you and sign off 




Lets make it perfectly clear - the email above puts every citizen in West Yorkshire at significant risk.  The strikes are for two sets of two hours per day. Senior Officers at WYFRS have  chosen to put the county at risk for the other  TWENTY as well.   

So we have a little bit of advice for every fire fighter who does a risk assesment or Home Fire Safety Check in the next week. Tell people why you are doing them, explain about ACO Rhodes removing pumps from stations and when they are outraged give them his phone  number and suggest they give him a call. 




  • Assistant Chief Officer/Director of Service Support

    Steve Rhodes
    01274 655734   |   






  • Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Dear Simon .............Just a little note to say

    Just a little note to say
    Your staff won't be at work today
    So try your very bestest to
    Watch facebook, twitter, our blog too



    And 

    of course don't  leave any cameras running on pumps, RTC wedges in doors and make sure there are no mobile phone cameras about when your scabs mess things up.




    Lots of love   FCCL 















    Wednesday, July 09, 2014

    For Sale

    Its not often you get items like this on the market.

    Excellent condition - A GPS Tracker used by West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue.

    Do you have employees you want to spy on: FBU officials you need to keep track of? 

    Need to make sure senior officers stay at their desks during periods of industrial action scouring facebook and twitter for subversive posts and don't go AWOL ?







    As the person who found this tracker now wants to dispose of it - no reasonable offer will be refused.

    Oh bugger it we can't resist HANDBAG GATE  take a peep and what happened next ..........



    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    Come on Dave the suspense is killing me

    If you have ever wondered what Assistant Chief Fire Officers do as a hobby, apart from play with trains, rifle through handbags  and play bagpipes; we can now reveal that ACO Dave Walton takes pictures of fire hydrants that look like pineapples.

    This is he assures us the first in an occasional series,
    we wait Dave with bated breath, is the best yet to come?




    If of course any of our followers see any pineapply hydrants why not take a piccie and  send it to Dave - we are confident he will be chuffed to bits.


    But whilst we are on the topic of photos, here is one that is much more serious.

    We've been sent this by an occupier in a block of flats who was concerned about the response they received to a fire in their building during the ongoing strike action. This is what happens when the incompetent officers who break the strike leave equipment behind, meaning the whole building was susceptible to smoke logging and  fire spread which will block everyone's escape.




    The RTC wedge was left in the fire door for over 26 hours before being removed!