Statement on Jess Phillips, Nadeem Ahmed and that fake tweet 

Last night an unfortunate occurrence on Twitter led to Jess Phillips wrongly being accused of posting a tweet suggesting she was going to contact the Home Office about one of her constituents, Mr Nadeem Ahmed, whom have both been embroiled in bitter exchanges over the last few days.  This tweet turned out to be fake, and Jess Phillips has now complained that a series of fake tweets have been set up in her name. These tweets are libellous, offensive and have caused Jess a great deal of distress and abuse. 

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Jess Phillips for wrongly accusing her of posting the tweet. Nadeem contacted me in a very distressed state as he has been experiencing racial and Islamophobic abuse on Twitter in relation to his on-going bitter exchanges with Jess – none of which she has orchestrated. 

The racist abuse Nadeem is continuing to experience and the misogynistic abuse being directed at Jess must stop now. Regardless of who you are, if I see any further abusive tweets directed at either individual then you will be blocked and reported. 

Nobody has the God-given right to abuse a member of the public or a politician on social media – or anywhere else. Remember, nobody is above the law. 

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Scott Nelson bids farewell to Essex for a new life in Blackpool 

It is official. After a seven-month wait my transfer to Blackpool has finally come through and I start my new post on 2 October. 

I have loved Blackpool ever since I first visited in the late 1980s, I was about 10-years-old and I instantly fell in love with it. Blackpool is by far way better than the daytrips I had to Southend-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea. Blackpool has something for everyone and is very friendly and hospitable seaside resort.

I am very much looking forward to my move and a new journey in my life. Blackpool might not be paradise for some people, but for me it has always had a special place in my heart. I will be leaving Essex in a few week’s time and have a lot to do between now and then, so my Twitter appearances will be sparse. 

I will still engage in political debates on Twitter and I will still be campaigning for social justice, but my new life will give me a new perspective. Living by the seaside will benefit my health and I look forward to meeting new friends. But most of all I am looking forward to a new beginning and my independence.

I have lived in Thurrock all my life but no longer feel happy there, the borough has become run down because of Tory cuts, overpopulated, polluted and mass housebuilding on the green belt is eroding the borough’s beauty spots.

That said, I still have connections to Thurrock and will be making recurring visits, but my new adventure in Blackpool is about to begin and I have never been happier!

Thank you everyone for your support and patience, your friendship means a lot to me and you have all been a tower of strength. 


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Jackie Doyle-Price complains about crime in Thurrock – despite voting to cut police numbers

Jackie Doyle-Price has rightfully raised concerns about the so-called Essex cruisers who roar around West Thurrock every Friday and Saturday night. And she is right: it is only a matter of time before someone will get killed. 

Thurrock residents have complained about the Essex cruisers and raised concerns about them for years now, but despite this, our voices have not been heard. 

Right now Thurrock is experiencing a crime wave. Here in Aveley, local residents have started to make a stand against antisocial behaviour. And this week, Ensign suspended its bus service to the Kenningtons Estate in Aveley because hooligans were throwing stones and firing catapults at buses. 

A series of illegal raves have happened over the last few months, causing misery and noise nuisance to local residents in Aveley, Ockendon and Chafford Hundred. These raves were reported to the police but no action was taken due to the lack of police resources. 

Since 2010, police numbers have been cut by more than 20,000, and Essex Police numbers have been cut by more than 600. It was recently reported that crime has increased to record levels in England and Wales. In 2015, the police and intelligence services warned Theresa May – who had been Home Secretary since 2010 – that her cuts were putting Britain at risk of crime and terror. 

Her response? She accused them of scaremongering. However, this warning became a reality in 2017, as Britain has had four terror attacks – three in London and one in Manchester – and official figures recently released revealed record crime in England and Wales. Gun and knife crime are also on the increase. And despite the crime and terror surge in England and Wales the Tories have not ruled out further cuts to police numbers. 

I commend Jackie Doyle-Price for again challenging the Essex cruisers, and I strongly condemn the abuse and death threats she has received online, but she voted for police cuts and must accept that her actions have contributed to the crime wave in Thurrock.

I do, however, get very angry at people who complain about police cuts, the state of the NHS and cuts to local services, yet still continue to vote Conservative and re-elect the very politicians who voted for austerity including cuts to public services. 

Voting Conservative is no different than turkeys voting for Christmas. 

Theresa May’s magic money tree is never around when we need it most. The only way crime and terrorism can be defeated is by reversing police cuts. If the Tories can afford to bung the DUP £1.5bn just they can remain in power, blow £15.8bn on Universal Credit, £55bn on HS2 and £205bn on Trident then they can afford to recruit more police officers. 

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Once again I am under attack for voting Brexit, and this time things have got personal

Once again I am under attack for voting Brexit, and this time things have got personal.

Over the weekend I have been attacked on social media because I voted Brexit. It is no secret which way I voted in the EU referendum, as I was very vocal about Brexit last year and have continued to defend my decision. 

‘Remainers’ have been keen to repeatedly tell me that just 37% of Britain voted to leave the EU and for that reason we should have a second referendum – basically because they are not prepared to accept the outcome of the referendum. 

But the sheer hypocrisy of Remainers has reached a new level. Some of them have known me on social media for more than three years and I remember them attacking Scottish nationalists and the SNP for calling for a second independence referendum. 

Remainers cannot have it both ways; they cannot attack Scottish nationalists and the SNP for pursuing a second independence referendum whilst they call for a second EU referendum. This is hypocrisy and double standards on the Remainers’ part. 

I voted Brexit for four reasons:

  • To take control of EU migration
  • To take control of our borders 
  • Sovereignty
  • To be liberated from EU bureaucracy 

At no point did I listen to the false promises coming from Boris Johnson, who said leaving the EU would mean an extra £350m a week for the NHS. Despite touring the country with that pledge on the side of a red bus and making the same pledge during an EU referendum debate live on ITV, Boris Johnson has now claimed that he never made this pledge. 

People should stop directing their anger at me for voting Brexit and direct it at the Tories instead. The Tories have badly handled Brexit from the outset which is damaging the economy – and is why David Cameron did a runner. Theresa May irresponsibly delaying Brexit negotiations in favour of a pointless snap general election also damaged the economy. Her gamble on 8 June backfired and she only has herself to blame. Serves her right. 

The Tories are in complete disarray over Brexit and the party is deeply divided; they are even unable to decide whether Britain will remain in the Single Market and how long the Brexit transitional period – or free EU movement – will be when Britain leaves the EU in 2019. It is totally shambolic and David Davies, the Tories’ Brexit Secretary, is nothing more than a laughingstock.

The EU is demanding Britain pay up to £80bn to leave the EU, and over the weekend the Dutch MP put that figure at £50bn. This ‘EU divorce settlement’ needs to be negotiated, EU leaders cannot just pluck figures out of thin air. David Davies should tell the EU to go whistle for any sums of money until it has audited its books, something which it has not done since the 1980s. And once audited, it should then publish the results. 

One of the most toxic EU figures is Jean-Claude Juncker, who received an £8,700 pay rise while imposing austerity on the Greeks. But that said, the Tories have done exactly the same in Britain. 

Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, however, have made it clear that if they were in power Britain would leave the Single Market and free EU movement would end in 2019. That said, there are a number of Labour MPs who are intent on sabotaging the party’s Brexit strategy, and one of those MPs is Chuka Umunna. 

In September 2016, Chuka Umunna publicly said that Britain should be prepared to leave the Single Market, yet nine months later he is saying that Britain should remain in the Single Market. He has one aim only and that is to split Labour over Brexit. How anyone can take him seriously on Brexit is beyond me. 

Jeremy Corbyn is respecting the outcome of the EU referendum and is committed to deliver a Brexit that benefits everyone and not just a few. Labour’s heartlands in the North of England voted Brexit by 75% and Corbyn is listening to them. In fact, he has won back swathes of support in the North after decades of neglect, dating back to the days of Neil Kinnock and New Labour. And he crushed UKIP. 

Under New Labour the party lost nearly 4 million votes between 1997 and 2010, many of whom were working class voters. Many of these voters turned to the BNP in 2005, and from 2010 onwards they turned to UKIP. This was not because they were racist, it was because both the BNP and UKIP were the only parties listening to working class people, especially in Labour’s northern heartlands who felt left behind by New Labour and their concerns about immigration were being ignored.

Here in Thurrock, the borough voted Brexit by 73% and support has not gone away. When I campaigned for Labour in Thurrock in 2014 and 2015, New Labour was toxic on the doorsteps and many residents were angry that Ed Miliband would not offer an EU referendum. Miliband underestimated the mood in Thurrock, in Labour’s northern heartlands and in other parts of the country which is why the party lost millions of votes to the Tories and UKIP. 

Recently, London-centric Labour MPs have attacked Brexit and called for Britain to remain in the Single Market. This would mean that EU freedom of movement would continue, despite the majority of people voting Brexit because of EU migration. London mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour MPs Diane Abbott, David Lammy, Wes Streeting and Chuka Umunna have demonstrated that they are out of touch with Labour’s northern heartlands and with the rest of the country. They simply do not have a clue what life is like outside of their London bubbles. 

If Labour takes their advice, as well as that of the Lib Dems and Remainers, then the party’s support in the north of England will collapse, and it will be to the advantage of the Tories. If that were to happen you can bet your life they will personally hold Jeremy Corbyn responsible rather than take responsibility of their own actions.

The personal attacks I have encountered over the weekend are abhorrent. I have been labelled a racist, a xenophobe, a Nazi, a Tory and a Kipper. And I have been likened to the BNP. These personal attacks are no different to the abuse that came from Remainer Bob Geldof, a foul-mouthed millionaire tax exile, who last year verbally abused a convoy Brexit supporters on the River Thames with a megaphone. 

I am absolutely sick of the rich and the elite using their wealth to influence political decisions. Many working class people voted Brexit, yet we have millionaires like Tony Blair, Neil Kinnock, Bob Geldof, Gina Miller, Richard Branson and Charlie Mullins using their wealth to override the will of millions of working class people who voted Brexit. These millionaires only want Britain to remain in the EU to suit their own financial arrangements. 

The hypocrisy of the Remainers has reached new heights, as many of them complain about wealthy Rupert Murdoch influencing politics and oppose him taking 100% control of Sky TV for that very reason – but they have no problem sharing platforms with a millionaire tax exile like Bob Geldof or greedy capitalists like Richard Branson and Gina Miller. 

I have heard on the grapevine that Remainers will hold demonstrations outside the Labour, Tory and UKIP conferences in the autumn, no doubt Bob Geldof will be there with his foot soldiers verbally abusing people through his megaphone. 

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No, Jeremy Corbyn never said he would wipeout student debt.

Last week Theresa May lied during Prime Minister’s Questions when she accused Jeremy Corbyn of betraying students. Then the Lib Dems jumped on the bandwagon. Now the Green Party and SNP are spreading this Tory lie. 

So much for that ‘progressive alliance’, eh guys? Shame on the lot of you. 

On 1 June, the NME published an interview with Jeremy Corbyn. During the interview, Corbyn said this: 

First of all, we want to get rid of student fees altogether. We’ll do it as soon as we get in, and we’ll then introduce legislation to ensure that any student going from the 2017-18 academic year will not pay fees. They will pay them, but we’ll rebate them when we’ve got the legislation through – that’s fundamentally the principle behind it. Yes, there is a block of those that currently have a massive debt, and I’m looking at ways that we could reduce that, ameliorate that, lengthen the period of paying it off, or some other means of reducing that debt burden.

I don’t have the simple answer for it at this stage – I don’t think anybody would expect me to, because this election was called unexpectedly; we had two weeks to prepare all of this – but I’m very well aware of that problem. And I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after. I will deal with it.”

The Daily Mirror has also come to Corbyn’s defence on this Tory myth and made it clear what he actually said during the NME interview. At no point did Corbyn say he would end student debt, he said he would ‘look at’ the debt. It is blatantly obvious what Corbyn said and what he meant, but the other political parties and the Tory gutter press either have difficulty understanding English, or they are deliberately twisting Corbyn’s words. Or both.

Students are less likely to believe the lies coming from the other parties, and they are also unlikely to read the crap that is being published by The Sun, the Daily Mail and UKIP’s Daily Express. Most students tend to get their information from social media, and they are much smarter than the other parties realise. 

On the subject of tuition fees, the other parties constantly accuse Labour of introducing them. This is a lie. In fact, tuition fees were a cross-party agreement, and MPs from other political parties also voted for them, not just Labour MPs.

In 1996, John Major, who was still Conservative Prime Minister at the time, commissioned Lord Dearing to make recommendations on higher education funding. 

Lord Dearing’s report was published in 1997, and by then Tony Blair was Prime Minister. The Dearing Report recommended that students should pay approximately 25% of the cost of tuition but that government grants should remain in place.

Based on Lord Dearing’s recommendation, David Blunkett, the Labour Education Secretary, announced the introduction of £1,000 tuition fees to be paid by every student in each year of study, beginning in September 1998. The student grant of £1,710 was abolished and replaced by means-tested student loans. 

Parliament voted in favour of the Teaching and Higher Education Act and it passed into law – setting an annual tuition fee for England of £1,000. Means-testing meant a third of students did not pay anything.

So, the next time someone accuses Jeremy Corbyn of betraying students and blames Labour for tuition fees, show them this article. 

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Tory cuts to Essex Police has led to a crime surge in Thurrock 

Antisocial behaviour has become a major problem across Thurrock and it is accelerating. Here in Aveley, residents are complaining about unruly youths, vandalism and cruisers roaring around the area with loud exhausts and music bellowing out of cars. 
I have lived on the Kenningtons Estate in Aveley for 27 years and I have never known things to be this bad. The bus stop on Usk Road is regularly being vandalised, while groups of kids hang around outside the shops on Romford Road pestering people to buy them cigarettes. And if you refuse you are verbally abused. 

Other groups of kids are throwing water bombs and stones at buses and at people waiting at the bus stop on Usk Road. And when challenged, people are again verbally abused. Residents are also complaining about water bombs being thrown at cars as they have driven past the bus stop on Usk Road. A number of residents have had water bombs land inside their car as the windows were open due to the recent hot weather. One of these residents is a neighbour of mine and she ended up losing control of her car which hit a wall. The perpetrators ran away laughing and shouting. 

Elsewhere, Essex Police announced today that it allowed an illegal rave to continue last Saturday night in Davy Down, despite noise complaints from nearby residents. This is the second time this year Essex Police has allowed an illegal rave to continue in Thurrock, the first one was back in April. An all-night rave went on until gone 6.30am in Belhus Woods despite complaints from nearby residents. 

The actions of Essex Police are sending the wrong message and show that Tory cuts to the police force are having a detrimental effect on crime and antisocial behaviour across Thurrock. Since 2010, the Tories have cut Essex Police numbers by over 600. 

Police-recorded crime has risen by 10% across England and Wales – the largest annual rise for a decade – according to the Office of National Statistics. The latest crime figures for the 12 months to March also show an 18% rise in violent crime, including a 20% surge in gun crime and knife crime.

The official figures also show a 26% rise in the murder rate to 723 homicides, which includes the 96 cases of manslaughter at Hillsborough in 1989. More alarmingly the official statisticians say the rise in crime is accelerating, with a 3% increase recorded in the year to March 2015, followed by an 8% rise in the year to March 2016, and now a 10% increase in the 12 months to this March.

The accelerating rise in crime comes as Home Office figures show a further fall of 924 in the past year in the number of police officers to 123,142 in England and Wales. This is the lowest number of officers in England and Wales since 1985.

Police numbers have fallen by 20,592 since 2010. 

In 2015, Police Forces across the country warned Theresa May, who was the Home Secretary at the time, that Tory cuts to police numbers were putting Britain at risk of crime and terrorism. Theresa May accused the police of ‘scaremongering’ and carried on cutting numbers. 

The police warnings were right: Official statistics show crime is rising across England and Wales and Britain has had four terrorist attacks this year. And irresponsible Tory cuts are the reason why. 

I have utmost respect for the police and the Emergency Services. We should direct our frustration at the Tories, and not the police. Just like NHS workers, the police are working under extremely difficult circumstances and many are suffering stress because of Tory cuts to staffing. 

But if the situation in Aveley is not promptly resolved then I fear residents will take matters into their own hands. No doubt some people will read this and say “oh, what a miserable sod”. I really do not care, because unlike them I actually have respect for my neighbours and take pride in Thurrock. 

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Ian Paisley Jr complains about the ‘universal hatred’ of the DUP and compares it to Islamophobia

People across the UK are rightfully angry at Theresa May bunging the DUP a staggering £1.5bn just so she can remain in power, yet she says there is no ‘magic money tree’ to end austerity or give Public Sector workers a pay rise.

The Tories have spent the last two years labelling Jeremy Corbyn a terrorist sympathiser, but now they have done a deal with the DUP – despite the party’s history of racism and homophobia, and links to violence and terrorism. 

The DUP does not support gay rights and has labelled the LGBT+ community ‘perverts’ and says that we should be ‘cured’ of our sexuality. The DUP also opposes abortion, even if a woman has been raped. And DUP has connections to the KKK. 

It stands to reason that the DUP has received a hostile reception: the party’s stance on gay rights and racism is not welcome. As a gay man, I strongly object to the DUP making decisions that affect my future, like voting with the Tories to oppose a pay rise for Public Sector workers.

Ian Paisley Jr needs to get his own house in order before he condemns people for rightfully calling out the DUP on its atrocious record. 

There is enough division in Britain as it is and the last thing we need is the DUP making it worse. Since the Tories announced their deal with the DUP, provocational Orange Marches have taken place in Northern Ireland, Liverpool and Glasgow – and it is causing division among Irish communities. 

Sinn Féin has rightfully identified that Theresa May’s deal with the DUP is in breach of the Good Friday Agreement. 

Theresa May’s deal with the DUP shows how low she will stoop just to stay in power. Some people describe the Tory-DUP deal as a ‘coalition of crackpots’ but I prefer to call it the Axis of Evil. 

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Blairites are complaining about bullying. Now they know how Jeremy Corbyn supporters feel.

Richard Angell, leader of Blairite movement Progress, complained to Julie Hartley-Brewer on Talk Radio that so-called ‘moderates’ in the Labour Party are being bullied by Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. And he raises concerns about the threat of deselections – but he never complained when Blairites held a leadership coup last year. 

Now Richard and his Blairite core know how Jeremy Corbyn supporters feel. They have continuously attacked us and undermined Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. They also supported last year’s botched leadership coup, and they have persistently blocked pro-Corbyn candidates from standing in local and national elections – but then complained when their chosen candidate lost and blamed us for it. 

Blairites are now getting a taste of what they have put us through since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader in 2015 – and they don’t like it. They have absolutely no right accusing pro-Corbyn supporters of bullying after the vindictive hate campaigns they have staged against us. They have used all tactics to try and destroy Jeremy Corbyn’s movement including false claims of antisemitism and homophobia, and there was an isolated incident where a pro-Corbyn member was falsely accused of spitting at a Blairite. 

Richard Angell has repeatedly attacked pro-Corbyn supporters and campaigners online. He was very vocal about them when Labour lost the Copeland by-election in February, yet refused to accept that the Blairites’ chosen candidate, Gillian Troughton, was the reason why. Copeland voted Brexit by 62%, but Gillian backed the Remain campaign. This did not go down well with the voters. 

The outcome of the snap general election was proof that New Labour is dead. Jeremy Corbyn defied his critics and performed way better than expected. In fact, it was Labour’s best performance since 1945, under Clement Attlee. 

Some Blairites have accepted that Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and are now supporting him and calling for party unity, but regrettably, not everyone on the Labour-right is singing from the same hymn sheet.

The likelihood of Britain having another snap election this side of Christmas has become a reality. The Tories are deeply divided and are in a worse state than Labour was this time last year. Many Tory MPs are angry that Theresa May lost the party its majority. Tory MPs are also divided on Brexit, austerity and the DUP deal. 

Labour should be exploiting the Tories’ situation and get ready for another snap election. The latest poll gave Labour a 6-point lead over the Tories and this is why Theresa May is too afraid to call a snap election. As each day passes, Theresa May gets closer to falling on her sword. As the saying goes: ‘give ’em enough rope’.

Jeremy Corbyn will be the next Prime Minister and his social reforms will transform Britain and end austerity and inequality. And his supporters and campaigners will make sure it happens, whether Blairites like it or not. 

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I’m a Public Sector worker. And I’m sick of millionaires telling me I don’t deserve a pay rise 

I have worked in the Public Sector since 2001, and back then it was a great place to work. The working environment was relaxed and easy-going, senior managers treated you with respect and the pay was pretty decent, as were the perks and privileges. 
Offices were fully staffed; however, the IT we used was out of date, but it still did the job. And Departments were well managed and organised. 

In 2010 things changed within a matter of months when Labour left office and David Cameron became Prime Minister with his lapdog Nick Clegg. One of the first things they did was impose a 1% pay cap on Public Sector workers. Some of us had a 4-year pay freeze. Then they started robbing our pensions and hiked the retirement age – mine to 68. We are now paying more pension contributions but will receive less when we retire.

The next thing they did was start culling staff, closing offices, centralising work and setting unachievable targets. Since 2010, the Public Sector has become too target driven. And staff sickness across Government Departments has accelerated, mostly mental health problems caused by work-related stress. And if you take too many sick days your case is referred to a Decision Maker to decide your fate.

After a 4-year pay freeze I received a paltry 1% pay rise in 2015 – while MPs including George “we’re all in this together” Osborne – received 11%. And when trade unions complained about this, David Cameron arrogantly said that most people had been taken out of Tax and that was a substitute for a pay rise. 

The Tories are deliberately underfunding our public services including the NHS so they can justify selling them off. Poor performance can be used as the perfect excuse to brainwash taxpayers into agreeing that taxes should not be wasted on public services. They did that to British Rail from 1979 onwards which led to the privatisation of the railways in 1993. 

Public Sector workers have been hit hard with austerity and we have had enough. How dare millionaires including David Cameron and Norman Lamont say that we don’t deserve a pay rise. And now Tory MPs are trying to put Theresa May under pressure to end the Public Sector pay cap despite voting against Labour’s attempt to end the cap last week. Hypocrites, the lot of them.

The Tories don’t have a magic money tree to give Public Sector workers a pay rise but have so far blown £15.8bn on Universal Credit. Billions have also been wasted on the disastrous topdown reorganisation of the NHS which has resulted in huge deficits in England due to overspending on expensive agency staff and consultants because of staff shortages. A staggering £205bn is also available to upgrade Trident, while the Queen will get a taxpayer-funded rise of £8m because she can’t manage on £74m a year. And let’s not forget about the £1.5bn Theresa May paid the toxic DUP to keep her in power. 

Some ignorant Tory MPs have questioned where the money will come from if the Public Sector pay cap is lifted. I’ll tell you where it will come from: the same place where you have found £15.8bn to blow on Universal Credit, £8m for the Queen and the £1.5bn Theresa May paid the DUP.

I have worked in the Public Sector for 16 years and like many other people in my profession I am ready to quit. The Public Sector used to be a fun place to work, but since 2010 it’s been transformed into a workhouse where staff are treated like battery hens. We are sick of being overworked, underpaid and undervalued. 

Enough is enough. 

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The scale of Tory cuts to the Essex Fire Service 

On 18 June 2017, I wrote an article about Fire Service cuts in Essex and highlighted the dangers these cuts posed to tower block residents living in Thurrock. I now have details of these cuts to the Essex Fire Service.

I have acquired some detailed figures into Tory staffing cuts at Essex Fire Service. Overall employment costs are £129,000 (1.5%) under budget for the two months to 31 May 2017.

Spend for the whole-time firefighters is £136,000 (2.8%) under budget, this reflects headcount being lower than budget.

For on-call firefighters, spend is £60,000 (9.1%) under budget. This comprises two main elements, actual average headcount at 491 has been consistently below budget at 519 this year, this results in an underspend of £30,000 to May. Activity levels have decreased and are lower than budget, this accounts for an underspend of £30,000 to date.

Support staff pay is £73,000 (3.9%) over budget for the last two months to 31 May. This comprised of an underspend of £1,000 on directly employed staff (there is further adjustments required to the budget to accommodate the Job Evaluation impact for the current reporting year), an overspend of £3,000 on Secondary Contract Staff and an overspend of £71,000 on casual and temporary staff.

Directly employed support staff full-time equivalent (FTE) headcount was 261.2 at 31 May, this shows a net increase of 4.6 FTE or 1.8% since the beginning of the year. A further point worth highlighting is that we now have 14.8 (5%) vacancies against the budgeted establishment. There were also 33 Temporary Support Staff engaged to the end of May 2017.

This takes the total Support Staff to 294.2 for May 2017 (18.2 FTE above budget).

Whole-time firefighter numbers at 612.5 are 17.5 (2.8%) under phased budget at the end of May.

Irresponsible Tory cuts to the Fire Service across the country are putting firefighters under immense pressure and public safety in danger, and it has taken the Grenfell Tower tragedy to highlight the seriousness of these cuts. 

Despite the population growing, the Tories are not investing in infrastructure or public services like the Fire Service, but instead they are cutting them. How many more people must die in the name of Tory austerity in Britain? 

Enough is enough. 

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