SCC to consider 6,000-signature petition opposing fire brigade cuts

COUNTY councillors are to consider a petition opposing fire brigade cuts which has been signed by 6,086 people.

The petition was started by writer and actor Emma Kennedy, who will speak to Surrey’s cabinet members on the subject at their meeting on Tuesday next week.

Actor and writer Emma Kennedy is to speak to the Surrey cabinet on Tuesday, outlining her petition against fire brigade cuts which has drawn over 6,000 signatures

Emma, who lives in Chobham, is delighted that her campaign opposing reductions in night-time fire cover gained so much support in just four weeks.

“I’m incredibly proud to be to be sticking up for our firefighters,” she said. “The major fire on Chobham Common in August has shown up how woeful our fire brigade cover is in Surrey.

“If we were a cap-in-hand county, I could perhaps understand us not being able to afford to have all our fire engines available 24 hours, but we are a rich county and should not be cutting fire engines at night.”

The petition asks that Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) reverses a reorganisation that will see seven fire engines, including one at Woking, unavailable from 7pm to 7am from 1 October. It also asks the brigade to keep Chobham Fire Station on call 24 hours a day, instead of just evenings, nights and weekends.

Emma will have just three minutes to address the county cabinet during its meeting via a webcast. “I’m well prepared and can say plenty in that time,” she said. “We’ve just got to hope that the councillors listen.”

An SFRS spokesman said: “Our top priorities are keeping Surrey residents safe and the welfare and recruitment and retention of staff.”

The cabinet meeting starts at 2pm next Tuesday. It can be watched online at https://surreycc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

For more on this story, see the 24 September edition of the News & Mail

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