London Fire Brigade

London Fire Brigade to save £2m by cutting unnecessary overtime

09 March 2011

The London Fire Brigade has today revealed plans to save £2million over the next five years by cutting unnecessary overtime paid to firefighters.

The announcement comes days after Home Secretary, Theresa May, warned of cuts to overtime pay for the police. According to a report being put to the Finance and Personnel committee of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) next week, the Brigade can cut the amount it pays out in ‘pre-arranged overtime’ by £400,000 a year. This will be done through closer analysis of how the Brigade arranges cover for staff at fire stations.

The report was ordered by Chairman of LFEPA, Cllr Brian Coleman, in the wake of industrial action last year. At the time, the Brigade removed 27 appliances from fire stations so that it could continue to protect the capital with a contingency level of fire cover in the event of a strike.

During the firefighter industrial action short of a strike, that took place from September to December 2010, the Brigade looked more closely at how it covered staffing at stations. The report says that this has highlighted how, by continuing with closer scrutiny of ‘pre-arranged overtime’, the Brigade can save £2million over the next five years, without affecting frontline services.

Chairman and Leader of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman said: “Taxpayers expect a world-class service from the London Fire Brigade but they also expect their money to be spent wisely. As a result of last year’s industrial action, we’ve learned that by scrutinising more closely what staff we need, where and when, we can keep London just as safe but at less cost.

“Last year, the Brigade had to cope with strike action that included two-eight hour walk outs and months where firefighters worked to rule. This forced us to do things differently. If, as a result of industrial action, we have identified ways to make savings in how we work without affecting the service we provide, we have a duty to change.”

ENDS

Notes:

On the 8 November 2010 the Chairman asked for officers to look into the impact of the strike in relation to the 27 fire engines taken out of service, and on the pre arranged overtime process.

 

The report will be discussed at the Finance and Personnel Committee on Monday 15 March.