East Sussex Fire Authority is to meet on the 5th June 2014 to consider the results of a consultation on proposed savings. The consultation ran between the 17th February and the 28th April 2014. It sought feedback on three proposals as the Fire Authority and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service works to make savings of £7.1 million over five years.
Fire Authority Chairman Phil Howson said:
“We would like to thank those organisations and individuals who responded to our consultation. This is a difficult time and it is important that the Fire Authority is equipped with as much evidence as possible to have an informed debate before making a decision.”
What happens next
The Fire Authority will meet in public on the 5th June 2014 at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service headquarters at 20 Upperton Road in Eastbourne, and will start at 10.30 a.m.
A paper will be presented to Members for consideration and a vote will take place. It is important to note that Members cannot predetermine their views or decisions until they have had the opportunity to consider all the evidence and the outcome of the consultation.
There is limited space available in the meeting and members of the public who wish to attend should email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Members of the public can submit questions by emailing the same email address: email@example.com. Anyone wishing to submit a question must do so by 28th May 2014. Further information about the process can be found in our leaflet: www.esfrs.org/document/pdf/fa/faMeetings/fire_authority_meeting_procedure.pdf
The Service has an annual operating budget of just under £40m with funding from Council Tax, Business Rates and Government grants. Despite agreeing a 1.94% increase in Council Tax for 2014/15, Government grants are being cut and the funding gap is significant.
Brighton has three fire stations: Hove, Preston Circus and Roedean.
We are proposing to remove a fire engine from either Preston Circus or Hove. This means we continue to base four fire engines in the City which are crewed 24 hours a day. In addition, we provide an aerial ladder platform which can reach people in high rise buildings.
The provision of this appliance will be reviewed in 2014/15.
This change would have no significant impact on life risk and attendance standards would still be met. This would mean a reduction in 24 posts (4 of these posts would be reduced through the introduction of Locality Managers).
If fully implemented, it would save us £1.066 million by 2018/19.
Proposal 2 a or b
These proposals are based on an “either/or” basis – only one would need to be implemented to make savings.
Convert Battle Fire Station from Wholetime (Day Crewed) to a new Day Crewed Duty System. The station could then provide cover 7 days a week instead of 5, giving more support for Hastings. Battle would retain both its pumps.
We would therefore be able to remove the Retained Duty System fire engine from The Ridge Fire Station in Hastings. This attends a low number of calls and so removing it is predicted to have no significant impact on Service performance.
If fully implemented, this would save us £14,000 by 2018/19.
Convert Battle Fire Station from Wholetime (Day Crewed) to a retained duty system. This would reduce the number of Wholetime posts at Battle by 9. Battle would become a one-pump retained station and the Ridge in Hastings would remain a two-pump station (one retained - one wholetime). Battle has a low number of calls and analysis shows there would be no significant impact on Service performance.
If fully implemented, this could save £200,000 by 2018/19.
Introduce “Day Crewed Plus” at Roedean fire station in Brighton and The Ridge fire station in Hastings, both currently Wholetime stations.
“Day Crewed Plus” would be a new way of working for East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and is successfully used by other fire and rescue services across England. It means that firefighters stay in accommodation provided by us on site on a self rostering system.
They are therefore still ready to turn out 24 hours a day. This option would mean we could save money by reducing posts but it would not affect attendance times.
This would reduce the number of posts by 20 (8 of these posts would be reduced through the introduction of Locality Managers).
This would save the Service £432,000 by 2018/19.