Consultation to remove Epsom fire engine extended
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service's consultation on removing a fire engine from Epsom has been extended until March 4
A consultation on removing a fire engine from Epsom has been extended for another month following protests from local councillors.
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service's consultation on its plans to reconfigure fire services across Epsom and Ewell, and Reigate and Banstead, was due to end last Friday, February 1.
But Surrey County Council has now extended the consultation until March 4 and has arranged a public meeting on February 14 to give residents a chance to have their say on fire services in the area.
The leaders of each of Epsom and Ewell Council’s groups – Councillors Clive Woodbridge, Julie Morris, Sheila Carlson and Darren Dale – wrote to Surrey County Council (SCC) last month saying the consultation was "fundamentally flawed" and it must go back to the drawing board.
The consultation proposes relocating one of Epsom’s two engines to Burgh Heath by 2014, which would nearly double the average time it would take for firefighters to start treating a serious fire in the town.
The councillors said the consultation had run for an "inadequate" time period and public meetings should have been held and consultation documents were put up on SCC’s website under a heading that read "consultations that have ended".
Councillors warned that Epsom, the most densely populated borough in Surrey, is experiencing a growth in its population, with a number of housing developments, which meant that fire resources under SFRS’ proposals would be "spread too thinly".
Coun Neil Dallen said today: "They have delayed the end of the consultation which is a good thing, but then said only 50 people can go and listen at the meeting.
"But the extension will give more people to take a look at the proposals and give their views. We, as councillors, felt the previous timescale was too short and the information people were getting on it were limited."
The public meeting on Thursday, February 14, is at Bourne Hall, in Spring Street, Ewell, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
There will be 50 spaces available and those wishing to register their place, or to comment on the proposals which can be viewed on SCC's website, should email email@example.com or call 01737 242444.