Up to one hundred people expected at fire station march

UP to one hundred people are expected to march through Battle on Monday to protest against proposals to downgrade the town’s fire station.

Residents and local businessmen are set to bring the town centre to a standstill in a noisy show of support for Battle Fire Station.

Earlier in the year, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service revealed a raft of proposed changes in a bid to save money, including potentially downgrading Battle Fire Station to retained status, with a loss of nine wholetime posts.

Campaigner Kevin Lawrence, the owner of Dapper W clothing, said the move would be ‘devastating’ for Battle.

Kevin, who set up the Save Battle Fire Station Facebook page, said: “If the fire station does go to retained status, it would be utterly devastating for us.

“There’s massive concern about it around the High Street and beyond.”

Many of the town’s businesses have petitions available to sign.

Kevin said: “I think it’s important all the businesses and everyone gets behind it.

“Some of the stores have got two or three pages worth of signatures already.

“Everyone has got a poster up in their shop window.

“It’s massive.”

Up to 100 people are expected to take part in the march on Monday (April 7), setting off from Battle Fire Station at 7pm, including residents, local traders and members of the Battel Bonfire Boyes.

The march will move up the High Street to the Battle Memorial Hall, where a public meeting will start at 7.30pm.

Members of the public who are concerned about East Sussex Fire and Rescue’s proposals will have the chance to grill fire chiefs and members of the Fire Authority over the controversial plans.

The meeting is expected to be attended by deputy chief fire officer Gary Walsh and three members of the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Fire Authority, including Hastings member, Cllr Phil Scott.

Local Fire Brigade Union (FBU) secretary Mark Brown and Jim Parrott, executive council member of the FBU for Kent, Surrey and Sussex, will also be in attendance.

All are welcome to join the march and/or attend the meeting.