Cuts to fire service put lives at risk, say critics

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CAMPAIGNERS have launched a petition calling on an authority to reverse £1.6m cuts to fire services.

West Sussex county councillors voted last year for the spending reduction, which has seen some stations with fewer fire engines and fewer firefighters across Bognor and Chichester.

Retired firefighter Tony Morris, from Chichester, started the petition.

He said new figures show that for a second year running, West Sussex had the most fire deaths and injuries per head of population of any area in the south-east, including London.

He said ‘The most deaths and injuries for two years running confirms that county council assurances about the effects of their cuts are without foundation.’

But a spokesperson for West Sussex Fire and Rescue said the number of fatalities from fire remains low and that changes to the service were ‘widely consulted on, scrutinised and debated in full’ by councillors.

Last year there were eight fatalities in the county.