Don’t light a bonfire, says union
5:30pm Friday 1st November 2013 in Latest News
A FIREFIGHTERS strike over pay and pensions tonight will put people lighting bonfires at risk, said a Wiltshire union official.
Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union will conduct a major walkout this evening, throwing plans for Bonfire Night celebrations into jeopardy across the county.
The national strike over pensions will see the full-time station in Trowbridge closed from 6pm to 11.30pm, along with the part-time stations in Melksham and Warminster, leaving a reduced service to deal with any emergency call-outs.
Brent Thorley, Wiltshire Brigade Secretary of the FBU said: “I think people understand, and will know we are going on strike, but if they decide to let off fireworks and light bonfires that’s a risk they are taking.
“I know some big events have been organised, but this is our pensions on the line. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.”
A further two-hour walkout will take place at 6am on Monday.
Martin Durbin, landlord of The Red Lion in Heytesbury, said the pub’s annual bonfire would still take place tonight, despite the risks.
He said: “We’re still going ahead, I don’t think there will be any issues. They always maintain that they don’t wish to harm the public, but that’s what they are doing. No matter how much I may support why they’re striking, I can never support them doing it.”
The display at Longleat will also proceed this evening. Spokesman Steve Mytton said: “We have relevant structures in place to make sure we can resolve any issues which come up.”
The strike is the third proposed in the last six weeks. A four-hour walkout took place on September 25, while action planned for October 19 was cancelled.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “We will still respond to 999 calls but it may take us a little longer than usual to arrive. We would therefore urge everyone to take extra care.”
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