Kent Fire Brigade – A confident future” 30th October 2010
North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, has described Kent`s Fire Brigade as facing the future with confidence” following a briefing meeting for Kent MPs from the County`s Fire Chief, at the House of Commons.
Like every other public service the Fire Brigade faces financial challenges” says the MP. Restructuring of the service, the conversion of retained fire fighting posts into part-time jobs and a rationalisation of the Brigade`s estates have inevitably caused ripples of concern. The potential disposal of Westgate Fire Station, for example, and the relocation of the Ramsgate” site will no doubt be construed by some as cuts” but the creation of a new Broadstairs/Ramsgate unit and an upgrading of Margate, both with additional appliances, has got to be in the public interest.
There is clearly a big question mark over the future of the last Labour Government`s hugely extravagant Regional Fire Control centres and many of us remained concerned that our control room is due to be be moved, expensively, to a remote and costly facility that is under construction at Havant in Hampshire. (That is why I have tabled parliamentary questions querying the cost of both construction, completion and possible cancellation of this project). There is also a need to ensure the independence of the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority that is vital to the interests of Kent as a gateway county.
But at a time of very severe economic conditions and financial constraints I believe that the Kent Brigade, under its present political and professional management team, is well able to handle the demands that it is likely to face."