County Councillors are challenging proposals by West Sussex County Council to cut back the number of firefighters and fire engines available. The councillors are also criticising the rushed nature of the public consultation, with the council refusing to extend it beyond 23rd August, despite many people being away during the summer holidays.
County Councillors have become increasingly concerned about the proposals coming from West Sussex County Council to cut Fire and Rescue Services in West Sussex, and in particular the impact this is going to have on Crawley and towns in the north of the county.
The meeting will invite fire fighters, representatives of their unions and the public to hear of the concerns over the proposals, where the council may be cutting too much and to share their views over what should stay.
- The county council has launched a consultation to cut £1.6 million from the county’s budget for the Fire and Rescue service;
- If the cuts go through as proposed, Crawley will lose seven full-time firefighters, all ten retained firefighters and one of the station’s three fire engines;
- There are cuts at all the other fire stations as well in the county putting further strain on the service. The stations in Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill will see their capacity for fire prevention work slashed, as resources are stretched even further;
- This is on top of £2.5 million of cuts to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service already made by, announced in 2012, and
- They have also timed the consultation for right in the middle of the summer holidays, despite this being a time when many people are away.
Despite this, County Councillors have pledged their determination to have a public meeting where West Sussex residents can have their say before the consultation period is over.
The meeting will be held at 7pm on Thursday 21st August 2014 at the Civic Hall, Crawley Town Hall, The Boulevard RH10 1UZ
As well as members of the public and the press being invited to attend, representatives of local firefighters will be attending to give their views on the potential impact of these proposed cuts on the resilience of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services.