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FIRE DISPUTE: LIB DEMS NOMINATE NEW CHAIR FOR EMPLOYERS' BODY

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The Liberal Democrats have nominated Liz Barron as the party's replacement for chair of the National Joint Council ...
The Liberal Democrats have nominated Liz Barron as the party's replacement for chair of the National Joint Council for Fire Services. A new chair will be picked by the all-party body on 26 August.

Liberal Democrat local government spokesman Edward Davey said: 'This is the first sign of progress since the fortnight of fiasco'.

If elected, Lib Dem councillor Ms Barron will conclude the negotiations with the FBU

for the employers' side, following on from where her predecessor, Christina Jebb, left off. Ms Jebb was removed from the position, after the employers' side failed to agree amongst themselves about the best way forward, despite huge progress made under Cllr Jebb's leadership (see LGC story LGA HOLDS PANIC FIRE DISPUTE TALKS).

Ms Barron has the support of all political parties on the LGA, and a

great deal of experience working in the fire service.

Mr Davey said:

'Liz Barron has all the skills and experience to do an excellent job,

finishing the skilful negotiations that Christina Jebb had all but

completed.

'Her appointment is an important new opportunity for all sides to sort this

fire dispute out once and for all. We need to put the recent fortnight of

fiasco behind us, and get on with a practical way forward.

'There is hardly a cigarette paper between the employers and the FBU, so the

public will not understand if a settlement cannot now be reached.

'With key meetings scheduled for the last week in August, I'm glad that the

employers' side will have someone as experienced as Councillor Barron.

'I would urge all sides to back away from a costly, dangerous and

unnecessary dispute. The LGA especially must give Liz their complete

support, or risk themselves becoming the problem.'

Note

Ms Barron was previously the lead Lib Dem fire spokesperson on the

LGA, is a non-executive director at the Fire Service College and has served

on Hampshire Fire Authority for 20 years.

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