Paul Couchman spoke to a packed meeting of the Ashford North Residents Association this morning (8 March) on behalf of Save Our Services in Surrey and the campaign to SAVE SPELTHORNE FIRE STATIONS.
There was still clear overwhelming opposition to the proposed cuts and a determination to keep campaigning. Only Denise Saliagopolous (County and Borough councillor) and a handful of her conservative colleagues were prepared to defend the proposals. Ms Saliagopulos went so far as to say 'the days of a fire station in every town are over'!
When pushed, Ms Saliagopoulos did say that there would now have to be a full further consultation on the latest planned cuts.
Councillors Robert Evans and Daniel Jenkins both spoke against the cuts and thanked SOSIS for our support in the campaign.
Kwazi Kwarteng MP arrived after the main debate on the fire stations but was questioned after his presentation by Paul Couchman about whether he still felt these cuts were 'unacceptable'. The MP said he was not responsible for County Council decisions, that his responsibility is to the people of Spelthorne and that he 'would not have made these cuts'.
Paul Couchman asked residents to cone to the lobby of the Spelthorne Committee on 17th in Staines and announced that a riverside pub in Sunbury will be holding a support benefit for the campaign on 1st May.
Keep signing the petition, come to the lobby, organise an event in your area. The campaign goes on...
It appears that there is likely to be a lobby of angry residents at the next Spelthorne Local Committee. This Committee is made up of Spelthorne Borough councillors and County Councillors.
SPELTHORNE COUNCIL OFFICES
The residents are angry about the overall response (or lack of) to the flooding crisis, including the planned cuts in services. Spelthorne's Council Leader was actually filmed on youtube saying 'if people choose to live by the river that's their choice'!
Originally this committee voted unanimously to oppose the County Council plans to half the fire safety cover in the borough but the Tories have since reneged and are now supporting the 'Option 5' of closing both Staines and Sunbury fire stations and replacing them with a single station with one full time permanent crew and one on-call crew.
Our petition is now over 1,200 and calls on the County Council to rethink its plans in the aftermath of the terrible flooding.
PLEASE CAN YOU MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO GET ALONG TO THIS VITAL COMMITTEE MEETING TO VOICE YOUR ANGER AT THESE CUTS.
Please let us know if you can come.
This is where we will try to publish anti-cuts news we receive