Fire service merger truth

First published in Salisbury Letters

I FELT I had to write in response to recent comments by Duncan Hames MP.

I am delighted that he and other MPs are asking questions about the planned merger of Wiltshire Fire Service, I am not however convinced he will get to the real answers.

I recently left the fire service after many years of loyal and dedicated service, taking voluntary redundancy – not because I had to but because I had become disillusioned with the leadership and management style of our senior officers.

As I prepared to leave and was given my redundancy paperwork I was surprised to see a confidentiality clause included.

I took the paperwork to my solicitor who was also baffled by the inclusion of such a clause in my voluntary redundancy paperwork. He explained that this clause was in essence a gagging order.

The NHS was greatly criticised for the use of these recently and indeed the head of the NHS was accused of a ‘systemic cover up’. Wiltshire Fire Service also widely uses these gagging orders and I am left wondering why. I have some thoughts but must keep silent.

So good luck Mr Hames, I hope you and your colleagues get to the truth.

Adam Groves, Corsham

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