Front-line West Sussex fire services will be affected by budget cuts

FRONT-line fire services will be affected in a new round of budget cuts.

This warning came at last week’s meeting of West Sussex County Council’s community services select committee, which was told savings of £2.5million would have to made by the fire and rescue service.

A report from county fire officer Max Hood said: “Savings of this scale cannot be achieved without affecting front-line services.

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“However, at this stage, it is anticipated there will be no closures of fire stations in order to ensure the service can achieve its target against published response times.”

Councillors were reminded budget cuts in 2010/11, which included closing retained fire stations, had already achieved savings of £1.5million.

Outlining further efficiency measures, Mr Hood said these would include a single fire control and mobilising centre for West and East Sussex fire services, saving around £450,000.

He said the government had provided £1.8million in support funding for the control centre, with arrangements yet to be finalised.

Earlier this year, the services agreed a previously proposed full merger was not feasible in the outlined timescale, and would not take place on April 1, 2013, as originally planned.