East Sussex FBU members pass vote of no confidence in senior leadership team

At an emergency meeting, members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) East Sussex Committee, unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the senior leadership team of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS).

East Sussex FBU members working on the frontline, have continually raised concerns over ESFRS’s senior leadership’s plans to implement changes that seek to reduce both public and firefighter safety.

In the latest in a series of judgement errors, the senior leadership team recently agreed to introduce small appliances, which carry less life-saving equipment. This latest decision has led to the vote of no confidence.

Mark Brown, FBU brigade secretary said: “This is an ill-conceived plan that has not been properly thought-through. We have repeatedly raised concerns with senior leadership over many months, unfortunately rather than listen to the FBU, our safety reps and our members, they have instead chosen to agree a plan that will reduce the service’s ability to deal with emergencies effectively.

“The senior leadership team need to assess the risk posed to the public, before contemplating any plans that seek to reduce fire cover and/or reduce equipment available to frontline staff.”

In June 2018 East Sussex FRS’s own staff survey, showed that only 13% of wholetime firefighters in East Sussex had confidence in the principal officers leading ESFRS.  Since then the leadership team have failed to take on board the findings and have instead agreed plans and changes that further reduce confidence in them. 

Mark Brown continued: “This apparent lack of learning has left the FBU membership in East Sussex with no option other than to pass a ‘vote of no confidence’.

“Despite the ‘vote of no confidence’ the FBU remain committed to working with management to find solutions that enable ESFRS to provide a safe and efficient service for its staff and the public.”

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