THERE are just a few days left to have your say over controversial plans to downgrade Battle Fire Station, as the public consultation is due to close on Monday (April 28).
Earlier in the year, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service revealed a raft of proposed changes to the service in a bid to save £7.1m, including potentially downgrading Battle Fire Station to retained status, with a loss of nine wholetime posts.
An alternative proposal would see the station retain its wholetime cover, but at the expense of The Ridge Fire Station in Hastings, which would lose one of its vehicles.
Campaigners say that cuts to Battle’s fire station would be ‘devastating’ for the town and put lives at risk by adding vital minutes to response times.
There is particular concern as Battle firefighters are often first on the scene at serious crashes on the A21, which has been dubbed the highest risk busy road in the whole country by the Road Safety Association.
There are also concerns about neighbouring retained fire station Burwash, after figures revealed the crews fail to turn out to 72 percent of their calls because of a lack of trained staff available, particularly during weekdays.
When the crew is not available at Burwash, Battle’s wholetime firefighters attend in their place.
Campaigners have also expressed concerns about East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s ability to recruit sufficient numbers of retained staff.
With the consultation due to close in just a few days time, campaigners are urging those who haven’t yet registered their objections to the cuts to make their views known.
The East Sussex Fire Authority will make a decision on the fate of Battle Fire Station in June.
To make your views known, fill in the official East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service consultation questionnaire by visiting www.esfrs.org/publicconsultation
And you can contact members of the Fire Authority directly - visit www.esfrs.org/fa/members.shtml for contact details for all 18