Horley fire crew will merge with Horsham
Plans to merge crews fromHorley and Horsham fire stations have been given the go ahead by West Sussex County Council.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service launched a public consultation i n July exploring ways of saving £2.5million because of Government cuts to its budget.
One of the proposals on the original consultation document would have seen Horley crews merge with Crawley, but staff at the Surrey station opted to move to Horsham fire station. The change means Horley’s fire engine will be moved to Horsham.
The county council said the consultation document had now been agreed and the changes would come into effect from Friday (October 19).
The plans, which effect the whole of West Sussex, will not see any fire stations close or a reduction in fire vehicles. The fire service said it is still in discussion with Surrey Fire Service to ensure a service is maintained in Horley.
The fire service said there would be no increase in attendance times.
But firefighters from stations across the county could lose their jobs. The service currently has 379 wholetime and 285 retained firefighters. The number of wholetime firefighters could be reduced to 348.
The county council said most of the roles could be saved by changes to the crewing system at Crawley and Worthing. It also said jobs would be saved by the Horley and Horsham merger.
A spokesman for the fire service said: “Consultation with staff and unions is ongoing but the service believes savings can be found without the need for compulsory redundancies.”
Christine Field, council Cabinet Member for Public Protection at the county council, said: “I think people understood these were sensible proposals given the tough economic pressures on public services. The reductions in grant funding means budget cuts are inevitable, and whilst it’s never easy to reduce staff, the evidence put forward by the fire and rescue service has demonstrated quite clearly that essential services would continue and that risks to firefighters and the public would not increase.
“With these proposals I think the public can be reassured that despite the pressure on budgets, our firefighters can still deliver an excellent service and responding to emergencies when they are really needed.”
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Weather for Crawley
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 15 C to 26 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
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