Demand to question fire chief
SWANSEA councillors concerned about changes and cuts to the fire service want to call the chief in for questioning.
Speaking at November's full council meeting, leader David Phillips said members wanted to know whether the people of Swansea were getting the cover they deserved.
"I do not want to raise alarm, but there are legitimate concerns about the manning of fire stations," he said.
"We have a right to question — we want people to get an adequate service commensurate with what they are paying.
"I want to ask the chief fire officer (Richard Smith) to come here to tell us what future manning levels will be in Swansea, and possible the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and we can have a sensible, informed debate about how issues affect Swansea."
The fire service came into question after opposition members asked what action Swansea Council's representatives on the Mid and West Wales Fire Authority "were taking in order to ensure that provision of services in Swansea was no less robust than in other areas".
In his response Mr Phillips said its representatives shared concerns and were constantly seeking to ensure that Swansea and its people received the proper level of resources in both prevention and reaction to fire.
He said Swansea's representatives have had meetings with FBU officers to gain a "wider understanding of the issues". Mr Phillips also said he had met with representatives.
Mr Phillips said he would provide an update at the next council meeting on the outcomes from two recent meetings.
There were also renewed calls at the meeting for retired fireman and now Clydach councillor Gordon Walker to be elected to the fire authority.
Opposition members say Mr Walker, an Independent councillor, had expertise which would be ideal to sit on the authority.
However, Mr Phillips said he was pleased with the work the members were doing at the authority.
"I'm very impressed by the knowledge and integrity of our representatives," he said.