Agenda item

Question and Answer Session

Part A:

 

The Assembly will put questions to the Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, James Cleverly AM, and the Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, Ron Dobson CBE QFSM, on the policies and work of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

 

Part B:

 

Motion submitted in the name of the Chairman:

 

“That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked.”

Minutes:

Part A:

 

3.1  The Assembly put questions to the Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, James Cleverly AM, and the Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, Ron Dobson CBE QFSM, on the policies and work of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

 

3.2  Kit Malthouse AM declared a non-pecuniary interest in relation to his role as Chair of Hydrogen London.

 

3.3  The record of the questions put by Assembly Members and the answers given is attached as Appendix 1, and written answers are attached as Appendix 2.

3.4  The written answers to those questions not asked or unanswered during the meeting will be provided by Monday 10 November 2014.

3.5  During the course of the question and answer session, at 12.30pm, the Chairman proposed, and it was agreed, that Standing Order 2.9B be suspended to extend the meeting in order to allow the remaining questions on the priority order paper to be put to the Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, and for the remaining items of business on the agenda to be considered.

Part B:

 

3.6  The Chair formally moved the motion in the agenda, namely:

 

“That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked.”

 

3.7  Fiona Twycross AM moved, and Len Duvall AM seconded, an amendment to the proposed motion namely:

 

“That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked.

 

This Assembly also notes that, ahead of recent industrial action, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) not only negotiated in good faith throughout the process but also called off strikes in an effort to bring the dispute to a swift conclusion. However, this Assembly notes that Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt’s failure to work towards a negotiated settlement with firefighters on the issue of pension reform – despite a clear indication that she originally intended to do so – has only inflamed the dispute; a dispute that places the lives of Londoners at risk.

 

The proposal at the heart of this dispute – that firefighters should work until they are sixty or see their pension reduced – will cut pension payments to the firefighters who routinely risk their lives protecting the capital. This is reflected by the fact that the Government’s review has demonstrated that two-thirds of the workforce would not be able to work beyond 55, given the strenuous demands of the job.

 

This Assembly believes that the Fire Minister’s desire to ‘take on’ the Fire Brigades Union and reduce pension liabilities has precipitated avoidable industrial action; that this strategy has endangered people and property in London; and, as a consequence, the London Assembly calls on the Mayor to lobby his colleagues in Government to resume negotiations with the aim of reaching a fair settlement with the FBU.”

 

3.8  Upon being put to the vote, the amendment in the name of Fiona Twycross AM, namely:

 

“That the Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked.

 

This Assembly also notes that, ahead of recent industrial action, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) not only negotiated in good faith throughout the process but also called off strikes in an effort to bring the dispute to a swift conclusion. However, this Assembly notes that Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt’s failure to work towards a negotiated settlement with firefighters on the issue of pension reform – despite a clear indication that she originally intended to do so – has only inflamed the dispute; a dispute that places the lives of Londoners at risk.

 

The proposal at the heart of this dispute – that firefighters should work until they are sixty or see their pension reduced – will cut pension payments to the firefighters who routinely risk their lives protecting the capital. This is reflected by the fact that the Government’s review has demonstrated that two-thirds of the workforce would not be able to work beyond 55, given the strenuous demands of the job.

 

This Assembly believes that the Fire Minister’s desire to ‘take on’ the Fire Brigades Union and reduce pension liabilities has precipitated avoidable industrial action; that this strategy has endangered people and property in London; and, as a consequence, the London Assembly calls on the Mayor to lobby his colleagues in Government to resume negotiations with the aim of reaching a fair settlement with the FBU.”

 

was agreed (16 votes cast in favour and 7 against).

Supporting documents: