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Fire Service College to be sold

Government plans to sell the UK Fire Service College in Gloucestershire have been criticised by a union. Communities minister Bob Neill announced the plans as the best way of securing the college’s future and relieving Government of financial risk.

The site has been run as a trust since 1992 and the union Prospect has argued that this privatisation is “outrageous”.

In a written statement last month, Neill said: “Analysis of the four options showed disposal as a going concern to be the best option.

“It is the only option which both fully removed from government the ongoing financial risks of ownership of the college and preserves a national training college for the Fire and Rescue Service.”

Philippa Childs, from Prospect, said: “The college is based in the middle of the Cotswolds, with training facilities considered to be the best in the world, but it’s falling to bits.

“Government spending constraints have meant that no money could be spent on the infrastructure or recruitment, and staff have also faced a pay freeze.

“Our members are worried about being transferred out of the public sector, not least because of the potential impact on their pay, pensions and other terms and conditions.

“It is also outrageous that a national resource such as this, which provides vital training to a key emergency service, should be privatised and thus subject to market forces which rely on making a profit in order to function.”

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