We welcome assurances about the future of Ogmore Vale Fire Station. A letter has been received from South Wales Fire chief Huw Jakeway about the situation at Ogmore Vale following protests by retained firefighters about new contracts. There were fears in the community that the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service was attempting to close the station down.
But Mr Jakeway says that there is no intention to close the fire station and that the service is fully committed to its future and to making sure that the fire engine located there is available for use as often as possible.
Mr Jakeway said that over the past six months, there had been many discussions with firefighters at various stations across the area to increase the availability of fire engines, including the one at Ogmore Vale. The service was asking for greater flexibility within firefighters’ contracts to increase the times that the engine can be available.
He has assured us that all but two of the firefighters at Ogmore Vale have completed the contract variation and that the majority of fighters at the station fully support the management position as the availability is now shared across the crew fairly.
The letter states that the fire service takes into account the individual circumstances of each retained firefighter, most of whom have full time jobs as well as family commitments and that the retained firefighters are required to be on call for no more than their individual contracts stipulate which is either 42, 63 or 84 hours a week depending on their circumstances.
We were also told that the needs of each individual and their work-life balance has been taken into account while spreading the work load fairly between staff. The variation in contracts was needed to achieve this.
If this information differs from what the retained firefighers themselves have been told, or if they feel “pushed” into accepting these revised terms, then they should contact email@example.com or Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzy Davies, Welsh Conservative Regional AM for South Wales West
Jamie Wallis, Welsh Conservative Assembly candidate for Ogmore