Update 18 July: The Canarian Government has offered 60% of its previous contribution to save the three Canarian fire brigade consorcios. This will mean an investment of some €3,000,000, down from €5,000,000 in 2012. The announcement was received with relief by the consorcios of Tenerife and Lanzarote, but in Gran Canaria it met with suspicion that the other two consorcios were receiving favourable treatment at Gran Canaria’s expense. The Government has denied any such favouritism, and says that the cuts were inevitable in economic and structural terms: it urged the three consorcios to homogenize their services to be more efficient and save money. A working group is now expected to start to flesh out the detail of how the services will now operate.
Update 4 July: The joint fire brigades have created a petition calling on the Canarian Government to maintain its funding of the Consorcio. I never know how effective these are, but it has to be worth a try. The petition is HERE.
Original post 1 July: The fourth vice president of the Tenerife Cabildo, José Antonio Valbuena, has told Diario de Avisos that the Canarian Government was aiming to stop funding the Consorcio de Bomberos. The Consorcio is currently funded jointly by the Cabildo, local Ayuntamientos, and the Canarian Government, but the regional executive apparently announced its plans to stop regional funding last December, and sees the funding of this essential service as a matter for the islands themselves. This would mean the Cabildo having to find funds from other insular sources to maintain Tenerife’s fire fighting service. Given that it’s regional Government funding that is being withdrawn, the same will apply to the Consorcios of Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.
Sr Valbuena says that there have been several meetings since December to try to find a resolution with the Government, but at the end of April the Government confirmed its position. Where this leaves Tenerife, or the other islands, in the case of a major fire like last year’s, heaven only knows, since the Cabildo is having difficulty in funding our single abattoir, let alone has the means to make up the shortfall, estimated in at least a couple of million Euros. We will have to trust to luck that the “social agents” who are to be approached to replace the withdrawn money have the funds … and the will to supply them.