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People asked for their say on fire service cuts in West Sussex
10:00am Sunday 15th July 2012 in News
A consultation on proposals to cut £2.5 million from the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is under way.
The proposals include reducing the number of support staff and managers although the fire service has stressed there are no plans to close fire stations.
The cuts are part of West Sussex County Council’s plan to reduce costs by £79 million.
Originally savings were to be made through a proposed merger with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service but the plans were dropped due to uncertainties over funding.
However,the two services will share control rooms which will save an estimated £950,000 per year.
The number of on-call officers, changing the crewing of special vehicles, reducing service vehicles and looking at more opportunities to generate income will all be considered.
Sean Ruth, deputy county fire officer, said: “To make the level of savings required it will inevitably mean a reduction in posts, but I believe the areas we have identified for change mean we will still be able to deliver the right balance of community safety and emergency response services to people in West Sussex.
“It is also important our performance standards match risks in the county, so when you dial 999 in West Sussex a fire engine will still arrive within our agreed attendance times, as it does now.
“Our plan is not just about cost-cutting. We want to reinvest resources in areas where it will improve our overall performance, and we will also seek ways to attract new sources of income.
“Sponsorship, for example, could be used to support safety campaigns and initiatives.”
The consultation runs until September 21 and no decision will be taken until the consultation closes.
To view the document visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire or phone 01243 753706
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