Public meetings over fire service merger plans

TWO public meetings are being planned by West Sussex County Council to launch the public consultation on the proposal to merge East and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services.

The meetings – both beginning at 7pm – are planned for:

Crawley: The Fire Service Training Centre (the ex-library building), Northgate Avenue, on Thursday July 14.

Worthing: Worthing Library, Richmond Road, on Tuesday July 19.

The meetings will be chaired by Pete Bradbury, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, and will include a presentation from Max Hood, County Fire Officer.

There will also be an open session for people to ask questions and air their views about the proposal.

Pete Bradbury said: “This is an opportunity for us to hear first hand peoples’ views on the proposal to merge the two fire services.

“In the current difficult financial climate, we believe this innovative approach of merging the fire services could enable us to continue to deliver excellent services and improve our operational capability, while reducing back office, management and administration costs.

“While much depends on the approach of the Government, the views of the public are equally important to us and no decision will be made until the results of the consultation have been considered.

“I hope residents, businesses, organisations and stakeholders will participate in the consultation. If you cannot attend the public meetings, you can still give us your views online or by post.”

The consultation is scheduled to begin on July 14 and last until October 6.