ANGER is growing in the rural Rye area over planned cuts to the Ridge Fire Station.
The Ridge is the front-line response for communities at Pett, Fairlight, Guestling, Three Oaks and Icklesham.
It also provides vital back up to the Rye area in the event of major incidents such as the leak at the Rye Harbour chemical plant and the big pine warehouse fire at Rye Harbour Road.
The move to downgrade the Ridge to a retained station is being opposed by both Rye MP Amber Rudd and Rye Labour candidate Sarah Owen.
Concerns have already been raised at a public meeting in Pett in October.
Sarah Owen said: “There was united opposition to this proposal at the meeting and people spoke very passionately about their fears.”
Now it is the turn of Icklesham residents to make their feelings known to the Fire Service, with a public meeting on Saturday November 17.
MP Amber Rudd has been out collecting more signatures for her petition opposing the downgrading of the fire station.
Amber formally presenting the petition to the House of Commons on Wednesday this week, after meeting with local fire fighters who joined her at Parliament to discuss ongoing issues with fire cover in Hastings.
Amber commented:“I strongly oppose the proposal to downgrade the Fire Station at The Ridge.
“I have been busy collecting signatures for my petition and am pleased to be able to meet with local fire fighters on the same day to discuss the issue further.
“I am urging Government to support local residents in opposing the recommendations in the Hastings Review as I am determined to raise it at the highest level possible.”
East Sussex County Council have asked the Fire Service to reconsider the proposed cuts and the move is also be opposed by councillors at Rye.
The Icklesham public meeting takes place at the Memorial Hall on Saturday 17 at 10.30am.
Attending will be Amber Rudd and Sarah Owen as well as representatives from the Fire Brigade Union and local East Sussex county councillor Keith Glazier.
Icklesham councillor Nick Warren, who organised the meeting, said: “This is in response to local concerns and a sizeable attendance is anticipated.”
A campaign spokesman said: “The full time crew at The Ridge will be transferred to the fire station at Bohemia Road, Hastings, leaving just a retained crew with a fire engine and Land Rover at the Ridge.
“Even the Fire Authority concede that this will result in a delay in of at least 4 minutes in attendance of fires in the villages east of Hastings.”