Savings cannot be justified in this case

WITH regard to the article in your edition of September 14, I am wholly opposed to the proposed reduction in service at the Ridge Fire Station.

Removing the appliance from the Ridge to Bohemia Road will almost certainly lead to the closure of the Ridge Station due to the lack of available retained firefighters.

The financial data used to justify the reduction in service is flawed. I believe that any reduction to the service in Hastings and St Leonards would be detrimental to the safety of borough residents.

I understand that savings have to be made. The previous Conservative Fire Minister stated that all savings should come from the back office, not from front-line services.

The reduction in services will result in an additional five minutes reaction time to some areas of the town. This is unacceptable.

If you ask any firefighter, he or she will tell you that an additional five minutes reaction would be catastrophic and result in fatalities. A saving of £1.6 million cannot be justified.

I would simply ask anybody supporting the reduction in services whether they would be willing for a member of their family or loved one to be in a burning building for an additional five minutes, or trapped in a car, as a result of a road traffic accident.

CLLR ROB COOKE

Conservative Leader

Hastings Borough Council