Brighton & Hove Green Party

Changes to aerial fire brigade platforms will save lives

21 January 2005

21 January 2005

The withdrawal of the second aerial fire platform from Hove Fire Station will save lives by improving fire crew morale and freeing up vital resources for neighbourhood community fire safety, according to Green Party fire authority member Cllr Sue Paskins.

?This decision is about saving lives,? said Cllr Paskins.

?A city the size of Brighton and Hove only needs one aerial fire appliance ? even Birmingham, a much larger city, has only one. They are expensive to maintain and, according to the Fire Brigades Union, a massive drain on fire crews? morale and resources.

?The Hove-based aerial was used just three times last year ? and is due for a service expected to cost some £30,000 in just a few months. Meeting the cost of servicing an ageing appliance which is rarely used ? and takes longer to reach 75 per cent of Hove incidents than the Preston Circus-based appliance - is an irresponsible use of council taxpayers? cash.?

Cllr Paskins said the money would save more lives if spent on community fire safety measures, citing the 30 per cent reduction in 999 calls from Moulescomb and Whitehawk since smoke alarms were fitted in homes in both areas three years ago.

Keith Taylor, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion, widely tipped to become England?s first Green Party MP, and Green Group convener on Brighton and Hove City Council, said: ?Budgetary decision are always tough.

"This one would be slightly easier if the Labour government wasn?t foisting a new uniform ? which will cost £45,000 but won?t save a single life ? on East Sussex firefighters.?

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact: Geoffrey Bowden Green Party Communications Officer on 07958 682 683.

[ENDS]



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