Might Cleveland firefighters end up 'owning' their service?

The Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has warned ministers that firefighters on Teesside are worried that plans by Cleveland's Chief Fire Officer, Ian Hayton, to explore the possibility of making the brigade a mutually owned cooperative might open the door to privatisation.

In the past year, the Cleveland service has lost nearly 10% of its 700 strong workforce but has managed to avoid any complusory redundancies.

The minister with responsibility for the fire services, Brandon Lewis, expressed surprise that a Labour MP should be opposed to extending employee ownership of their workplace.