'Take care' warning during firefighters' strike on Saturday

Somerset County Gazette: 'Take care warning' during firefighters' strike on Saturday 'Take care warning' during firefighters' strike on Saturday

PARTY-goers are being urged to take extra care when they are celebrating at Christmas parties or out with their friends this weekend as firefighters go on strike.

The Fire Brigades Union has announced a further national walkout on Saturday, December 14, from 6pm to 10pm, in a dispute with the Government over pension reforms.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service area manager Phil Martin said the organisation would “maintain a level of service to local communities as best we can” and will respond to 999 calls.

He added: “The public can help us by taking extra care if they are at home or out and about with their friends.”

More than half of accidental fires during the Christmas period are started in the kitchen.

The service is encouraging people to get a take away rather than cooking at home after having a few drinks, when there is a risk they could put a pan on to cook and fall asleep.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s advice is to take extra care with these six steps.

*If you haven’t already got one, install a smoke alarm and test it every week.

*Take extra care in the kitchen, which is where most fires start.

*Check your electrical appliances - turn them off and don’t overload sockets.

*If you smoke, put cigarettes out properly.

*Sleep safe - check everything in your home every bedtime.

*Plan a safe escape - make sure you know how to get out of your home in an emergency.

Comments (3)

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10:02pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

Who can doubt that if a 24-hour general strike had been built for in 2013 it would have ignited a mass movement against austerity which could have driven the Con-Dem government of millionaires back?

A new mass workers' party is urgently needed to put forward that political alternative to austerity, linked to struggle.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, whose leadership includes the RMT transport union, will be standing hundreds of candidates in the local elections in 2014 as a step towards building such a party.

Visit www.tusc for more information about how to stand as a TUSC candidate, against ALL cuts!
Who can doubt that if a 24-hour general strike had been built for in 2013 it would have ignited a mass movement against austerity which could have driven the Con-Dem government of millionaires back? A new mass workers' party is urgently needed to put forward that political alternative to austerity, linked to struggle. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, whose leadership includes the RMT transport union, will be standing hundreds of candidates in the local elections in 2014 as a step towards building such a party. Visit www.tusc for more information about how to stand as a TUSC candidate, against ALL cuts! Somerset.SocialistParty

10:04pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

Osborne's budget statement - work 'til you drop or fight back!

The Tories brayed and shouted, they stamped their feet, they cheered as multi-millionaire George Osborne, the self-styled 'Iron Chancellor', rained hammer blow after hammer blow on the living standards of all but the super-rich.

Osborne pledged to claw public spending back to its 1948 level. The Con-Dems are forging ahead with their attempt to roll back the welfare state and with it all the hard-won gains made by the working class in the 20th century.

The Autumn Budget Statement contained a further £3 billion in cuts over the next three years, a below inflation increase of only 1% for out-of-work benefits, and the introduction of a cap on welfare spending.

But Osborne boasted that Plan A for austerity was working. The weak economic recovery, however, is fuelled by increased consumer spending, which is based on rising household debt and spending savings, and a housing bubble. In fact, Osborne has reverted to the policy of economic growth through financial speculation and debt that triggered the crisis in the first place.

No investment increase

All the post-election talk of the "march of the makers" and boosting manufacturing has been shelved - there has been no increase in investment.

Meanwhile it is business as usual for the rich, who seem to live in another world - even RBS chairman Philip Hampton said he felt like he was having an out-of-body experience when one banker complained to him that his bonus was only £4 million.

The changes to the retirement age are particularly pernicious. They represent an offensive against the successes won by public sector workers in 2005 against the Blair government's threats to pensions. Plans to extend the retirement age to 68 and 69 will be brought forward to the mid-2030s and 2040s.

With the prospect of a pensions commission that would periodically review the date people got their pension on the basis of life expectancy, Osborne posed the threat of an open-ended retirement.

The outlook for young people is bleak. Youth unemployment has been rising since 2010 - and now consultants PwC have calculated that today's youngest teenagers could have a state pension age of 75 and those born today could work until 77. Or not as the case may be.

Osborne justifies the changes on the basis of rising life expectancy but according to the Office for National Statistics this has actually fallen since 2009. One third of men and one quarter of women will not live long enough to claim their pensions in the mid-2030s. Lower life-expectancy is concentrated among the poorest.

Many workers will fear that the new age for the state pension will be used as the yardstick in occupational pension schemes in the public and private sector. This will invalidate one of the main planks in the 'deal' that was agreed to by the right-wing union leaders to scupper the N30 pensions strike.

Union members should call for an emergency meeting of the TUC General Council to organise a 24-hour general strike against this latest vicious instalment of the cuts and the austerity offensive in general.

The Con-Dems can only get away with these blatant class attacks because of the absence of a political opposition to austerity in parliament and the failure of most of the trade union leadership to harness the growing anger against austerity and mount a real fight.

Frances O'Grady, the leader of the TUC, acknowledged that the statement "was a major blow to the hard-working people who get so regularly name-checked by this government" but she offered no way forward.

The huge demo and public sector strikes that took place in 2011 showed the potential for a determined fightback until it was sold out by the right-wing trade union leaders. In the last months firefighters, teachers, university lecturers and probation officers have been on strike, proving that where a lead is given workers take the opportunity to express the boiling anger against cuts and austerity. Firefighters are continuing their battle to defend pensions in a strike on 13 and 14 December.

Labour government

But still the TUC leadership cower in the trenches, waiting for a Labour government which has pledged to carry on with the austerity policies demanded by the bosses and the super-rich.

The few crumbs that Osborne dropped, such as the £50 reduction in fuel bills and scrapping the fuel duty increase, were partly a reaction to Labour's pledge to freeze energy prices. But mainly it was an acknowledgement of the popular anger beneath the surface over falling living standards while big business and the banks pile up profits.

But anyone who thinks that a Labour government will do more than dole out the same few crumbs is mistaken.

Ed Balls, in a pathetic performance, pledged that Labour would stick to the Tory spending limits outlined in the autumn statement.

In fact, a struggle now, including setting the date and preparing for a 24-hour general strike, is the best way to inform a future government that austerity will be resisted.

Meanwhile Labour leaders such as Rachel Reeves mount campaigns to save one of the cruellest cuts - the ill-fated Universal Credit - instead of signing its death warrant by pledging to undo it in government.

Yet when even a hint of opposition is given, such as when Labour said it would abolish the bedroom tax or freeze energy prices it gets overwhelming public support.

In fact the public is normally far to the left, such as the mass support there is for re-nationalisation of the energy companies. But it gives a glimpse of what can be achieved by a fight.

Who can doubt that if a 24-hour general strike had been built for in 2013 it would have ignited a mass movement against austerity which could have driven the Con-Dem government of millionaires back?

A new mass workers' party is urgently needed to put forward that political alternative to austerity, linked to struggle.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, whose leadership includes the RMT transport union, will be standing hundreds of candidates in the local elections in 2014 as a step towards building such a party.

Visit www.tusc.org.uk for more information about how to stand as a TUSC candidate, against ALL cuts!

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Osborne's budget statement - work 'til you drop or fight back! The Tories brayed and shouted, they stamped their feet, they cheered as multi-millionaire George Osborne, the self-styled 'Iron Chancellor', rained hammer blow after hammer blow on the living standards of all but the super-rich. Osborne pledged to claw public spending back to its 1948 level. The Con-Dems are forging ahead with their attempt to roll back the welfare state and with it all the hard-won gains made by the working class in the 20th century. The Autumn Budget Statement contained a further £3 billion in cuts over the next three years, a below inflation increase of only 1% for out-of-work benefits, and the introduction of a cap on welfare spending. But Osborne boasted that Plan A for austerity was working. The weak economic recovery, however, is fuelled by increased consumer spending, which is based on rising household debt and spending savings, and a housing bubble. In fact, Osborne has reverted to the policy of economic growth through financial speculation and debt that triggered the crisis in the first place. No investment increase All the post-election talk of the "march of the makers" and boosting manufacturing has been shelved - there has been no increase in investment. Meanwhile it is business as usual for the rich, who seem to live in another world - even RBS chairman Philip Hampton said he felt like he was having an out-of-body experience when one banker complained to him that his bonus was only £4 million. The changes to the retirement age are particularly pernicious. They represent an offensive against the successes won by public sector workers in 2005 against the Blair government's threats to pensions. Plans to extend the retirement age to 68 and 69 will be brought forward to the mid-2030s and 2040s. With the prospect of a pensions commission that would periodically review the date people got their pension on the basis of life expectancy, Osborne posed the threat of an open-ended retirement. The outlook for young people is bleak. Youth unemployment has been rising since 2010 - and now consultants PwC have calculated that today's youngest teenagers could have a state pension age of 75 and those born today could work until 77. Or not as the case may be. Osborne justifies the changes on the basis of rising life expectancy but according to the Office for National Statistics this has actually fallen since 2009. One third of men and one quarter of women will not live long enough to claim their pensions in the mid-2030s. Lower life-expectancy is concentrated among the poorest. Many workers will fear that the new age for the state pension will be used as the yardstick in occupational pension schemes in the public and private sector. This will invalidate one of the main planks in the 'deal' that was agreed to by the right-wing union leaders to scupper the N30 pensions strike. Union members should call for an emergency meeting of the TUC General Council to organise a 24-hour general strike against this latest vicious instalment of the cuts and the austerity offensive in general. The Con-Dems can only get away with these blatant class attacks because of the absence of a political opposition to austerity in parliament and the failure of most of the trade union leadership to harness the growing anger against austerity and mount a real fight. Frances O'Grady, the leader of the TUC, acknowledged that the statement "was a major blow to the hard-working people who get so regularly name-checked by this government" but she offered no way forward. The huge demo and public sector strikes that took place in 2011 showed the potential for a determined fightback until it was sold out by the right-wing trade union leaders. In the last months firefighters, teachers, university lecturers and probation officers have been on strike, proving that where a lead is given workers take the opportunity to express the boiling anger against cuts and austerity. Firefighters are continuing their battle to defend pensions in a strike on 13 and 14 December. Labour government But still the TUC leadership cower in the trenches, waiting for a Labour government which has pledged to carry on with the austerity policies demanded by the bosses and the super-rich. The few crumbs that Osborne dropped, such as the £50 reduction in fuel bills and scrapping the fuel duty increase, were partly a reaction to Labour's pledge to freeze energy prices. But mainly it was an acknowledgement of the popular anger beneath the surface over falling living standards while big business and the banks pile up profits. But anyone who thinks that a Labour government will do more than dole out the same few crumbs is mistaken. Ed Balls, in a pathetic performance, pledged that Labour would stick to the Tory spending limits outlined in the autumn statement. In fact, a struggle now, including setting the date and preparing for a 24-hour general strike, is the best way to inform a future government that austerity will be resisted. Meanwhile Labour leaders such as Rachel Reeves mount campaigns to save one of the cruellest cuts - the ill-fated Universal Credit - instead of signing its death warrant by pledging to undo it in government. Yet when even a hint of opposition is given, such as when Labour said it would abolish the bedroom tax or freeze energy prices it gets overwhelming public support. In fact the public is normally far to the left, such as the mass support there is for re-nationalisation of the energy companies. But it gives a glimpse of what can be achieved by a fight. Who can doubt that if a 24-hour general strike had been built for in 2013 it would have ignited a mass movement against austerity which could have driven the Con-Dem government of millionaires back? A new mass workers' party is urgently needed to put forward that political alternative to austerity, linked to struggle. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, whose leadership includes the RMT transport union, will be standing hundreds of candidates in the local elections in 2014 as a step towards building such a party. Visit www.tusc.org.uk for more information about how to stand as a TUSC candidate, against ALL cuts! www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset.SocialistParty

6:12pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Mi_Coc says...

Some tripe as other threads but the looney behind must like the sound of their own voice.

Putting their pension age to 60's is a step to far!
Some tripe as other threads but the looney behind must like the sound of their own voice. Putting their pension age to 60's is a step to far! Mi_Coc

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