London Fire Brigade

Lots of burly and generally white men come to watch the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) in session. We are in session unusually at City Hall as last time we were stormed by the FBU (unions) – they forced their way into the LFEPA HQ committee room and blew whistles. It might not sound dreadful – but the noise pierced our eardrums, two colleagues were spat at and we could not move as they barred our exit. One member had some severe problems with her ears. Not acceptable behaviour whatever the circumstances. And rather daft anyway – who really thinks such behaviour helps win you friends to your side of the debate?

This time therefore, they have moved the meeting to City Hall for security reasons. The protesters are here over the planned closure of Manchester Fire Station and redeployment of 10 fire engines. The FBU heckle and jeer. Change is always difficult – but the new London Safety Plan puts fire engines where there are people and on a risk-assessed basis (i.e. where they are most needed to fight fires). So we all support it.

Then get a call from BBC London to go to College Green for a TV prerecord on the Tube. (A “prerecord” is where they film an interview in advance for use in a later piece, often on the following day). Basically the House Commons Transport Select Committee has announced its findings: shock horror – the PPP deal for the Tube is crap. Well – far be it from me to say I told you so – but I told you so.