RESIDENTS of Pett, Guestling, Fairlight and Pett Level have given a resounding and unanimous no to proposals to downgrade the Ridge fire station.
They made their feelings known at a recent packed public meeting in Pett.
Residents heard that their lives and homes will be at much greater risk in the event of fire due to the extra 4-5 minutes on a good day that it will take for a fire engine to reach them under the proposed changes.
Rye prospective Labour candidate Sarah Owen commented: “In the knowledge that a fire doubles in size every minute, this is terrifying news.”
The Fire Authority wish to move a fire appliance and fire fighters from the Ridge to Bohemia Road Fire Station on the Western side of Hastings.
Miss Owen said: “ In doing so, they are ignoring the views of residents and endangering the lives of the most vulnerable people in the Rother villages on the Eastern side of Hastings, such as the elderly or disabled and neither do they seem to care for our young families.
“They are looking to make financial cuts to the fire and rescue service in the guise of moving resources to areas of higher risk in St. Leonards. As one resident stated this is ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’.”
Sandie Bell, a resident from Pett Level, argued it is shameful that the Fire Authority are carrying out a 12 week consultation on the proposed changes yet have excluded residents from the villages of Rother in the consultation process despite these areas being deeply affected by the proposed cuts.
A group of residents are so concerned that the consultation is flawed that legal advice is now being sought. There was acknowledgement from those attending the meeting that this is the biggest risk that the villages have faced in many years and action needs to be taken immediately to prevent losing a vital and necessary emergency service. It is important that our community comes together by opposing such changes. More information can be found on www.saveourfirestation.co.uk.
The Fire Authority is due to make a decision on the future of the fire station in December.
There was another public meeting last Saturday at Icklesham Memorial Hall.