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Fire risk rising as devastation of cuts to Fire Service hit Spelthorne hard

September 6, 2019 10:27 AM

Spelthorne Libera Nicola Cornes protesting against fire service cutsl Democrats have raised their concerns about the lack of fire coverage across Spelthorne on the 1st weekend of September just 10 days after opening.

Cllr Nichola Cornes, Staines South Ward and Shadow Portfolio Holder for Community Wellbeing and Housing, who started the initial petition back in 2017 against the closure of Staines Fire Station plus reducing two full time manned crews to one full-time and one on-call crew and joined forces with many other campaigners including SoSiS said.

Commenting, she said "As we feared, the closure of the two Fire Stations and leaving us with only one full-time and one on-call crew has now lead to the situation that Spelthorne had NO fire cover at all on Sat 31st Aug. There is no excuse that NO fire service can be provided for the whole borough due to not having enough Firefighters to crew either of the 2 Fire Engines, or crew the Water Rescue Units. The Conservatives are not just playing with taxpayers money here, but lives. To make it worse they are now planning to cut our night cover.

We are additionally very upset that the Community was given no chance to express their deep gratitude to the Fire Fighters of Staines and Sunbury Fire Stations following their abrupt silent closures. The secrecy behind the opening of the fire station once again raised concerns with residents and again they were right to be worried. I am deeply appalled by the way this has been handled. The Fire service and residents of Spelthorne deserve better."

In the interests of understanding more about the situation and how to improve, Spelthorne Liberal Democrats have been liaising with the Surrey Liberal Democrat team to ensure that no such repeats occur and that more is being done to protect local residents. Cllr Chris Botten, Surrey's Liberal Democrat Leader said:" The previous Leader of the County Council set a reduced budget for the Fire Service and as a result staffing levels of crews were severely and dangerously reduced. We are insisting that, since the budget cuts have been removed, staffing is restored to a safe operating level as soon as possible- and certainly before any changes are made to night crewing."

A petition has been signed by enough residents that the issue of Fire Services will be considered at the next full Council meeting of Surrey County Council on 8th October. We welcome the news that this will be taken forward and look forward to updating residents with this and progress made by the Lib Dems in opposition surrounding the safety of local residents. If you wish to sign it the link it can be found here

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