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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2017

Surrey: Save our fire station

Over 200 firefighters, local residents, anti-cuts campaigners and their families protested the council's plans to close Staines fire station

Over 200 firefighters, local residents, anti-cuts campaigners and their families protested the council's plans to close Staines fire station   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Couchman, Save Our Services in Surrey and Staines Socialist Party

Over 200 firefighters, local residents, anti-cuts campaigners and their families gathered outside Staines fire station on 21 January to shout a loud 'NO!' to Surrey county council's (SCC) plans to close it.

Firefighters pointed out that the Staines fire engine is the busiest engine in the county. And that the local borough of Spelthorne has the busiest airport in Europe; the highest concentration of tower blocks; the worst record of fire deaths in Surrey, and many more high risk factors.

SCC initially refused to hold a public meeting but public pressure has forced them into calling a meeting at the Staines council offices on 7 February.

SCC is determined to make cuts but Save Our Services in Surrey (SOSIS) does not accept slashing public services or massive rates increases.

As I pointed out: "This government, and its representatives on local councils, have made cut after cut in public services... The trade unions, alongside residents associations and community groups, need to draw a line in the sand and say: no more cuts."

The protest pledged to build the opposition to the proposed immediate closure of Staines station and to campaign vigorously for Spelthorne to continue to have two full-time appliances.

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