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Labour councillor Danny Myers’ two-year fight against cuts to Fire Service crews was finally won this week.

On Wednesday the North Yorkshire Fire Authority voted unanimously to return to four firefighters on each engine at all day-crewed stations in North Yorkshire

The authority had originally voted to cut the number of crew needed to two but Myers, the leader of the Labour Group on the authority, pointed out that ‘I have spoken many times about the moral implications for staff of a Tactical Response Vehicle attending a house fire as the first attender is unable to safely mobilise breathing apparatus.

‘From 2013 to 2016 we saw a massive five times increase in cover moves/redeployments. In 2013 there were a total of 196 redeployments but in 2016 that figure was 1,034, which to me shows there is a growing problem with appliance availability to which the solution is the recruitment of full time firefighters.

‘As Leader of the Labour Group I wrote to all North Yorks MPs with changes to their stations earlier this year and whilst only half responded, they were all in favour of a reversal of the Fire Cover Review crewing element.’

(Picture, Left to right) Simon Wall, North Yorkshire FBU Chair, Steve Howley, NY FBU secretary, Alan McLean, FBU president, Ian Murray, FBU vice president, Danny Myers, Labour Councillor, and North Yorkshire Labour councillor, Anthony Randerson.

Cuts to fire cover to be reversed

Labour councillor Danny Myers’ two-year fight against cuts to Fire Service crews was finally won this week.

Labour will propose basic minimum standards across council procured construction contracts when it debates a motion to council in York this week (Thursday 14 December). The motion seeks to follow a number of other Yorkshire councils adopting a Construction Standards Charter, ensuring council procurement policy is used as a tool to achieve minimum standards within its construction contracts.

Councillor Danny Myers will propose Labour’s motion. He explains:

“The Charter provides a model for what an ethical and safe construction contract looks like.  With the council procuring contracts for major building works, such as the recent Glen Lodge extension and the larger stadium contract through its leisure operator, it shows the power the council has to influence standards within the local construction industry.

“The charter prioritises development and training of workers, and ensuring those undertaking tasks are properly qualified with the relevant skills.  Construction work is often dangerous, so it’s essential proper safeguards are in place. We also want to see a firm commitment to apprenticeships, something that doesn’t happen enough in order to train up the next generation to address the shortage of construction workers nationally.

“We hope councillors will also agree that while a Living Wage employer as a council, we can use procurement policies to ensure those winning construction contracts are too. Alongside this we’d expect to see the sorts of terms and conditions such as sick pay and paid annual holidays that are a given in the public sector. Construction workers’ conditions should be at least equal or better for the work that they do.

“And as well as this, we want to see health and safety policies adhered to in conjunction with any concerns and ideas raised by trade union representatives on the ground. They are often well placed to raise health and safety concerns that can easily be addressed and prevent a firm being exposed to compensation claims.

“Finally, the practice of blacklisting of trade union members and officials has received national attention, a practice that has blighted the lives of a great many families in this country. Any charter must be clear that blacklisting will not be accepted as part of any council contract”.

Councillors will debate the motion on Thursday 14 December at the Citadel on Gillygate, starting at 6.30pm.

Labour seeks improved standards on construction contracts

Labour will propose basic minimum standards across council procured construction contracts when it debates a motion to council in York this week (Thursday 14 December). The motion seeks to follow...

Fiona Derbyshire, Labour's parliamentary candidate for York Outer
Fiona Derbyshire, Labour's parliamentary candidate for York Outer

Fiona Derbyshire has been selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the York Outer constituency at the next General Election.

Born and bred in York, Fiona is a councillor on York City Council and Labour’s housing spokesperson. She currently works as a school business manager in York and has held senior public sector roles in housing and planning. Fiona has fought for local people on housing and planning matters.

Speaking after the selection, Fiona Derbyshire said:

“It is an incredible honour to be selected by local party members to be Labour’s candidate here in York Outer at the next general election.

“The Tories are failing to find answers for the big issues affecting York and the country. Lurching from self-made crisis to self-made crisis is not government. We need a government that will tackle the crisis in our NHS and adult social care, get to grips with the issues that matter to local people and ensure we have an economy that works for the many, not the few.

“People in York Outer deserve an MP who will protect their jobs and the services they value and fight for a fair deal in Parliament.”

Labour announces Fiona Derbyshire as parliamentary candidate for York Outer

Fiona Derbyshire, Labour's parliamentary candidate for York Outer Fiona Derbyshire has been selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the York Outer constituency at the next General Election.

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