Little concern for public safety

BEARING in mind that his party is in government and claim the economy has turned the corner, it is rich indeed of local Tory leader Councillor Robert Cooke to write (Fire Station Can Be Preserved. Letters, February 21), that ‘as a Conservative’ he is ‘aware that cuts must be made’ to fire services.

It is also disingenuous of him to suggest that Hastings residents will need to ensure the ‘UKIP led County Fire Authority’ make the right decision, because there isn’t one.

Of the cutting options East Sussex is faced with by the Lib-Con Coalition, Number 1 means Battle Fire Station takes up the burden, saving only £3,000 per annum over four years. Option 2a means Battle loses nine firefighters and both remaining fire engines move to The Ridge, saving £50,000 per annum over four years. Option 2b means Battle goes and The Ridge survives but with 20 firefighters axed and others cut to part-time duties, saving £108,000 per annum over four years. Councillor Cooke favours 2b.

However all the options forced on East Sussex by the Lib-Con Coalition, mean axing Bohemia Road Fire Station, thus increasing response times in much of Hastings and St Leonards. The recent conflagration above Warrior Square Clinic was bad enough without these cuts. It saddens me that Councillor Cooke places so little value on public safety that he writes to the press to support these cuts.

RALPH ATKINSON

UKIP Hastings and Rye