Brighton to lose engine in East Sussex fire service cuts

Firemen (generic) East Sussex fire service will remove an engine either from Preston Park or Hove

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Plans to cut more than 40 jobs and remove a fire engine from Brighton have been approved by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESF&RS).

The fire authority agreed to remove an engine from either Preston Circus or Hove, leaving four in the city with 24-hour crews.

Chairman Phil Howson said ESF&RS had to change the way it worked because of funding cuts.

Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, said he was saddened.

The ESF&RS budget will fall by about £7m from about £40m by 2018-19.

The authority also agreed to review the provision of Brighton's aerial ladder platform, used to reach people in high rise buildings.

'Robust debate'

New ways of working at Roedean in Brighton and the Ridge in Hastings will also be introduced.

The fire service said there would be no immediate change because the proposals would need further work, including consultation with staff.

Mr Howson said the cuts were approved after robust debate and discussion.

But Conservative Mr Kirby expressed his "profound sadness" that Mr Howson used his casting vote to reduce the fire cover in Brighton and possibly endanger the response to emergencies in East Saltdean, Telscombe Cliffs and Peacehaven.

"The fire authority should look again at all its non-frontline services to find savings so that fire stations could retain the equipment they need," he said.

The Fire Brigades Union has said the cuts will reduce the number of firefighters in the county by 20% and have a massive impact on the safety of the public and crews.

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