"We want to keep our two fire stations in Spelthorne". This was the follow-up meeting to the hugely successful march just before Christmas.
The local Conservatives were conspicuous by their absence - perhaps because the 3 Tory County Councillors for Spelthorne who had attended the Select Committee had voted for the cuts - Denise Saliagopoulos (Staines), Richard Walsh (Shepperton and Lower Sunbury) and Tim Evans (Halliford). The meeting felt betrayed by those who had declared themselves opposed to these cuts only weeks earlier. One County Councillor who did attend and who voted against the cuts was Robert Evans (Labour, Stanwell and Stanwell Moor).
You can write to the Spelthorne County Councillors at County Hall in Kingston telling them how you feel, go to one of their surgeries and tell them yourself, or you can email them:
There was a lot of discussion about the new 'Option 5' (One station with one full time and one on-call appliance) and the firefighters present explained how this would work (or not) in practice. For the on-call proposal to work the Fire Service would have to be able to recruit at least 18 people who live/work within 5 minutes of the station and who would be fit, capable and willing to do this job. There was unanimous feeling that this proposal is actually just a way of getting the council's original proposal (Option 4) through the back door - i.e. a new station is built, our two stations are closed, two appliances are based at the new station but only one is operational because they can't recruit enough on-call firefighters for the second one which is then withdrawn.
LOBBY THE COUNTY COUNCIL
12PM TILL 2PM
TUESDAY 4TH FEBRUARY
OUTSIDE COUNTY HALL
PENRHYN ROAD, KINGSTON KT1 2DN
Save Our Services in Surrey have called for a lobby of the Cabinet meeting which will make the final decision on 4th February. We are supported by the Fire Brigades Union and all the major local trade unions, by the 2 County Councillors who have opposed the plan, by a number of Spelthorne Borough Councillors and by the 11 Residents associations who have argued the case for retaining current fire safety levels.
The council's own consultation had 1,200 responses (including two petitions) which showed that 92% of residents and businesses opposed the cuts. The Save Our Services in Surrey petition has over 1,200 signatures on its own and we will be presenting this at the Cabinet meeting. Richard Jones, Secretary of Surrey Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will have 3 minutes at the meeting to speak to the Cabinet on behalf of SOSiS. We also hope to have the FBU fire engine with us on the day.
The fight is not over yet. We do not accept the closure of the two stations. If there is a new option (5) there should be a further consultation.
Please do all you can to get along to the lobby and to advertise it to friends and colleagues. There will be an opportunity to attend the Cabinet meeting itself at 2pm. There are no Spelthorne County Councillors in the current Cabinet.
If you cannot make the lobby (or even if you can), you can write to the Cabinet members at County Hall or email them with your opposition to the proposed cuts. They are:
David Hodge (Leader) email@example.com
Peter Martin (Deputy Leader) firstname.lastname@example.org
John Furey - email@example.com
Mike Goodman - firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Kemeny - email@example.com
Mary Angell - firstname.lastname@example.org
Clare Curran - email@example.com
Mel Few - firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Cosser - email@example.com
Michael Gosling - firstname.lastname@example.org
Helyn Clack - email@example.com
Kay Hammond (Member with responsibility for Fire Services) firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Le Gal - email@example.com
Tony Samuels - firstname.lastname@example.org