Surrey Fire Brigades Union speaks out over Woking cuts

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By mattcollison | Monday, January 14, 2013, 10:59

SURREY Fire Brigades Union has spoken out against Surrey County Council cuts to fire services which will see Woking lose an appliance.

It comes as the county council is consulting on plans to relocate fire engines to parts of East Surrey where there is a shortage of pumps.

Richard Jones, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Surrey branch said lives were being put at risk by the SCC's £2.5million savings drive.

According to the FBU, fire stations in Town Lane, Staines, and Kingston bypass Road, Esher, will lose night cover.

The cutbacks will see Woking fire brigade lose a fire engine and a pump for nights and weekends at Camberley will be stopped. 

The proposals are part of Surrey COunty Councils review of Surrey Fire and Rescue services. The cuts were announced in 2011 as part of the authority's integrated risk management plan (RMP).

Mr Jones said the cuts come as Surrey Fire and Rescue already faces an acute shortage of firefighters.

He said: "The RMP (Risk Management Plan) that was published in 2011 says that Esher and Staines would lose night cover altogether.

"Camberley are going to lose one pump at night and weekends and at Woking they are going to lose one pump altogether.

"All of these plans are just straightforward cuts and we can't see any justification for them when you see the amount of fire deaths and everything else that is going on.

"Response times and the crewing is getting worse. It makes the case to say we actually should be improving fire cover not cutting it."

Speaking on BBC Surrey Kay Hammond, cabinet member for community safety, said the £2.5 million savings were part of the council's ongoing review of Surrey Fire and Rescue Services.

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