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Liberal Democrats welcome proposals to improve Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

May 9, 2019 3:04 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Guildford Fire StationSurrey Fire and Rescue Service was recently inspected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, with a disappointingly overwhelming rating of 'inadequate' and 'needs improvement' across the board . As a result of this, Surrey County Council are currently consulting on their 'Making Surrey Safer' plan which aims to improve the standing of the service. The consultation is open to the public until 30th May 2019.

Fiona White today visited Guildford Fire Station to talk to them about how they feel about the 'Making Surrey Safer' plan and what the proposals are going to mean in real terms.

One of the evident focuses of the proposals is that savings which will be seen through reducing station capabilities will be channelled back into the service in order to improve prevention, one of the areas where Surrey was deemed to be struggling the most. The detail of how the fire stations will be structured and staffed is not yet known in detail, but by reducing the capabilities of some of the fire stations, it means that none of the fire stations are going to be closing.

Fiona White, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Surrey County Council, said:
"It was great to go down to Guildford Fire Station and talk to the people who will actually be affected by the proposals in the 'Making Surrey Safer' plan.

"I have more confidence in the proposals after learning that the service is now looking at the way they assess capabilities based on the number of people, as opposed to the number of appliances at each fire station, and it is great to hear that no fire stations will be closing.

"There seems to be much more cross-border cooperation with bordering counties, and I welcome the sharing of resources when suitable. Hopefully the efficiency savings that are being made here will be long-lasting and help to get our fire service back on track. The proposals will make more sense when the number of firefighters is up to the establishment and we have successfully recruited to the large numbers of vacancies we have. I look forward to reading the updated version of the proposals when the consultation is complete."