Fire engines returned after dispute resolved

A FIRE engine removed from West Hampstead station almost four months ago during industrial action has been returned.

A total of 27 appliances were removed from fire stations across London during an industrial dispute between the Fire Brigade Union and the Fire Brigade last year as a contingency measure. The engines were removed from stations such as West Hampstead which had two appliances in case fire fighters went on strike.

But the FBU said the engines were only returned when they went to collect them.

A spokesman for the FBU said: “For nearly four months Asset Co has had custody of 27 of London’s fire engines, and was supposed to return them to their fire stations as soon as agreement was reached between the London Fire Brigade and the Fire Brigades Union.

“That agreement was finalised early on Friday afternoon, but for some reason the company was unable to return them, either on Friday or over the weekend. On Monday it did not have the drivers available to return them, and the London Fire Brigade had to send its own drivers to collect them.”

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “We have always said that we would return the 27 fire engines after the FBU called off their industrial action. We have now received confirmation that their action has been called off and on Monday returned the appliances to their base stations.”