Just when we thought we were safe after the fight for Fire Services in 2014 than we hear that there is a proposal on the table to shut down Staines Fire Station.
This proposal comes on the back of a target by Spelthorne to build a further 15,000 homes in the borough. It also comes only 3 years after the worst flooding in memory which tore through our communities.
The Eco Park currently under construction must also be a concern. There were reports last month of a huge blaze in the recycling centre in Brentford and we already know about the fire at an ‘Eco Park’ in Scotland which burned it to the ground. Imagine the unimaginable – a huge blaze in Charlton Lane. How quickly could it be contained? Imagine how many people reliant on the fire service in times of natural disaster such as flooding will be left stranded, or worse. Imagine how many homes will be at risk from this proposed closure.
Whilst consolidation of Staines and Sunbury to the Fordbridge site seems logistically acceptable, the fact that the proposal is to shut Staines before the Fordbridge site is fully operational. This could be a disaster.
A compromise to the closure of Sunbury and Staines stations which was reached in 2014 was that an additional ‘retained’ fire engine would be based at the new fire station at Fordbridge, making it a 2 pump station, one pump being full time (24/7) and the other being retained or ‘on call’. This hard won proposal for the retained fire appliance at the new fire station is now also to be scrapped in order to make immediate savings. It means that the fight which had been won in 2014 has now been lost.
Savings have already been made by reducing the size of crews from 5 to 4. If Staines Fire Station does indeed close, fire cover for the whole of Spelthorne will be met by the single Sunbury fire appliance with pumps coming in from other boroughs to help.
Under current proposals Surrey will end up with 30 fire engines across 11 boroughs, but only ONE of them will be based in Spelthorne, which already has the worst statistics in fire deaths in the past 5 years and surely one of the highest density of population?
So forget Fordbridge because it’s still just on paper – In fact forget everything from the 2013 consultation”. Under this new proposal, our fire services are basically halved. Staines closes and we are covered only by the single engine and crew in Sunbury.
There are other details, such as whether the Fordbridge site will ever be built and the valuable river service provided by Sunbury which could be lost. This is purely a cost saving initiative and it is potentially detrimental to your safety. It also highlights to pointlessness and misnomer of these consultations”.
Make sure you have your say. Complete the online survey at the following website: https://www.surreysays.co.uk/
You can also email Kay Hammond (Cabinet Associate for Community Safety Services) what you think of her plans firstname.lastname@example.org. Or write to her at Surrey County Council, County Hall, Kingston KT1.
You can also contact your Surrey County Councillor: email@example.com
Finally see below for info on a lobby to be held at Knowle Green on 23rd February.
This concerns us all!