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Lib Dems raised fire alarm two years ago

November 27, 2012 4:21 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

An answer to a question from Surrey County Council's Liberal Democrat Communities spokesperson Councillor John Orrick to the County's Conservative Cabinet today has confirmed that the Liberal Democrats were right to raise concerns about co-operation across the County's borders over fire and rescue provision.

This follows a decision by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to remove the fire engine from Horley Fire Station by 1 April 2013. Horley Fire Station is on the outskirts of the town just over the West Sussex border, it is partially funded by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, with the many of its call outs being into Surrey.

Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesperson John Orrick said: "The response today by the Cabinet Member for Community Safety made it clear that she had no idea what impact changes to cover at Horley Fire Station by West Sussex will have on a band of the county running from Cranleigh, through the southern villages of Mole Valley to the southern villages of Tandridge.

"All the Conservative Cabinet member could do was refer to historic achievements in meeting County-wide targets. Saying that the County has beaten its own target for reaching life or property threatening fires on more than 80% of occasions in the past is no reassurance for people in the southern band of Surrey who face reduced services.

"I, together with my Liberal Democrat colleagues on the Community Safety Select Committee raised our concerns about cross border fire cover two years ago, I hope that the Conservative Cabinet Member will sit up and take notice now that there is a real threat in the south of the County.

"I am calling on the Conservative Cabinet Member for Community Safety to ensure that response times do not increase, not just in Horley itself, but also in the large areas of southern rural Surrey that are threatened by West Sussex's plans. Residents in many areas will not be comforted by the Conservative Cabinet Member saying that fire engines in Horsham, Crawley and East Grinstead can respond to the southern area of Surrey."