Saturday, 16 October 2010

What does firefighters' strike mean for anti-terrorist units and bonfire night?

Slightly off-topic but I think that Ross Lydall's blog raises a few interesting questions.

Let's hope that anyone thinking of carrying a very stupid act in London on a strike date will not be aware of its full implications.

Essentially there's not a lot we can do if it's a 'dirty bomb' or something similar.

Here's what Ross has to say....

The London firefighters' strike raises many questions. At one end there is the unresolved dilemma about who will take charge of the brigade's specialist CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) units designed to handle all manner of terrorist atrocities.

At the other is the real fear of a lack of cover in the run-up to Bonfire night - a situation made worse by the cancellation of some council events, such as the Ally Pally fireworks, due to cutbacks.

Lambeth council has cancelled its events on Streatham Common and Brockwell Park, with only Clapham Common going ahead. Lewisham today told me that the Blackheath fireworks would go ahead - it has raised £11,000 of a £35,000 shortfall in funding, and the remainder will come from savings elsewhere if necessary. Wandsworth is advertising its Battersea Park event as normal.

Even if the FBU backs away from a walk-out on Bonfire night (it is thought likely that any action will be co-ordinated with the Tube strike due for November 2), brigade chiefs say that the risk of accidents increases in the week before November 5.

Read Ross' blog

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