Labour Research July 2011

Health & Safety Matters

AssetCo fire sale?

The downside of the privatisation of public services has been shown in the case of AssetCo.

The firm holds a 20-year contract with the London Fire Brigade (LFB). It owns and leases 500 fire vehicles and 50,000 pieces of fire-fighting related equipment to the LFB.

However, AssetCo, which has seen its share price collapse, is in difficulties: it is fighting off a winding-up order, its chief executive has been dismissed, and several of its directors have quit. In the event that the firm’s creditors take control of it, a sell-off of the vehicles and equipment that it leases to the LFB may occur.

“There’s a real risk here that the fire service are not going to have access to the engines,” said Duncan Milligan, a spokesperson for the FBU firefighters’ union.