More cuts on the way for fire service unless it receives more government funding, says chief executive (From The Argus)
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More cuts on the way for fire service unless it receives more government funding, says chief executive
Updated 8:56am Monday 2nd June 2014 in News
MORE cuts could be made to Brighton and Hove and East Sussex's fire service unless it receives more government funding, the chief officer has warned.
Des Prichard, chief fire officer for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said more cuts to firefighters are “inevitable” as £7 million of savings are made.
Politicians, the Fire Brigades Union and crew from Preston Circus Fire Station has all called on Mr Pritchard to go to the Government and tell them the cuts cannot be made.
Current proposals which will be decided on by the East Sussex Fire Authority next Thursday include cutting up to 80 jobs across the county, Forest Row and Herstmonceux, losing a fire engine in Brighton and Hove and losing a retained crew in Hastings and Battle.
Mr Prichard said if the plans are rejected other ways will have to be found to cut the budget - because savings have to be made.
In an interview with The Argus Mr Prichard also defended the public consultation about potential changes to the service, which only received 655 responses in 10 weeks.
Jim Parrott, a member of the Fire Brigade's Union, had suggested at a Q&A meeting on Thursday night that the consultation had been dishonest.
He said: “The consultation was flawed, there is an awful lot of information missing from the document and it was leading the public down a specific route.”
Nancy Platts, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, and Davy Jones, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown were also very critical of the consultation the forum.
Ms. Platts said: “The consultation was a complete sham, it was not a consultation, it was a presentation of one thing and you can take it or leave it.”
Mr Jones said: “99% of the general public do not know that this consultation is happening and it is obvious that this consultation has failed to reach the general public.”
Mr Prichard said: “I was there at Jubilee Library and I can confirm that we did not try to mislead anyone, we have nothing to hide here.”
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