Rye Observer Comment

PEOPLE in the Rye area have every right to be concerned over plans to downgrade the Ridge fire station.

The station may be in Hastings but it provides vital back-up and support to the retained stations at Rye and Broad Oak in the event of large fires and emergency incidents.

And for homes at Fairlight, Pett, Guestling and Three Oaks - the Ridge is the closest station.

Rye has a chemical refinery on its doorstep which has been unidentified by the Fire Service itself as one of the most high risk sites in Sussex.

Rye area residents will be fully aware of the need for full and effective emergency coverage with incidents in recent years including a chemical spillage at the Rye Harbour refinery and a fire at a furniture warehouse which took days to fully extinguish, not to mention the blaze which destroyed Martyn Channon’s agricultural store at Rye Market.

Our Rye firefighters do a fantastic job but they need to know they can count on back-up when they need it,

We would urge everyone to get behind MP Amber Rudd and support her petition.

Amber has vowed to raise the issue in Parliament at the highest level.

We accept we are living in times of austerity but this proposed cut to front line emergency services, which could see life and property put at risk, is simply unacceptable.

Plans to bury nuclear waste under Romney Marsh were thrown out by Shepway Council this week in what has to be seen as a victory for common sense.

The Marsh is one of the most sensitive environmental areas in the UK and earlier this year saw the re-introduction of a previously extinct bumble bee.

Having said that, Dungeness power station provides high quality jobs for many in the Rye area and when it closes job regeneration will become a real issue.