Fears for service

AS chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses and chairman for the East Sussex Economic Advisory Board I am extremely concerned to note the potential downgrade of The Ridge Fire Station in Hastings.

As a business leader not just for the town but for the county of East Sussex I would regard any down grade as a serious issue first and foremost due to the fact that this Borough has always had two fire stations and the reason being; because they have both been needed.

Given the current location of The Ridge Fire Station, it gives an almost immediate emergency response time to venues such as Sandown Primary School, Helenswood Schools, Conquest Hospital, Alsford Timber, The Ridge petrol stations, Tenants of Ivyhouse Industrial Estate, the entire business and residential population of Ore Village and an accelerated response to the residents and businesses of Fairlight, Icklesham, Pett Level etc.

Following discussions with representatives from the Fire Authority it was confirmed that a downgrade could add an extra eight minutes on an already crucial emergency response time to certain areas given their geographic location.

Any delay in responding to an emergency incident is unacceptable and surely goes against the East Sussex Fire And Rescue Service’s duty of statutory care to protect people and property from harm and assist with the preservation of life.

The membership and committee for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are totally opposed to any downgrade where it could potentially hinder the response time of fire crews.

BRETT MCLEAN

Chairman, East Sussex Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Chairman, East Sussex Economic Advisory Board

Board member, South East Local Enterprise Partnership