Increasing demand for essential services such as adult social care and school places, coupled with reduced Government funding, means Surrey County Council is under pressure to find efficiencies and savings on all the services it provides for the county’s residents, including fire and rescue.
As part of this, the fire and rescue cover in Spelthorne was reviewed and following a consultation in 2013 it was decided to close Sunbury and Staines fire stations and replace them with one new fire station at an optimum location to serve the whole area. This would save approximately £900k per year.
The development of the new fire station “Fordbridge” has been delayed while we secure the best possible vehicle access to the site. However, the need to make savings has not changed. We need to operate from one fire station from April 2017 until Fordbridge opens, in order to achieve the savings.
Why We Are Consulting
What we are proposing
Having looked carefully at the potential options we are proposing that Staines fire station should close and that Sunbury remain to provide cover until Fordbridge is ready. In addition to the cover provided by Sunbury, crews from nearby stations, such as Chertsey and Egham, will also be called upon if needed.
Response times and standard
This change will have an impact on the average response times in Spelthorne. Currently the average time taken for the first fire engine to arrive at an incident which involves more than one fire engine is 5 minutes and 57 seconds. Closure of one of the stations will increase the response time in Spelthorne to:
8 minutes and 3 seconds if we close Sunbury – an increase of 2 minutes and 6 seconds.
7 minutes and 37 seconds if we close Staines – an increase of 1 minute and 40 seconds.
The impact that the closure of Staines or Sunbury would have on average first response times in Elmbridge and Runnymede is marginal and would only increase by a matter of seconds. For more information on the impact on average response times, please refer to the FAQs.
The Spelthorne response time will still be within the Surrey response standard which was set following consultation with residents. Currently the Surrey response standard is:
10 minutes for the first fire engine to arrive at a critical incident after receiving a 999 call for 80% of incidents.
15 minutes for a second fire engine (if one is needed) to arrive for 80% of incidents.
For all other emergencies the standard for Surrey is to have the first fire engine arrive within 16 minutes and to achieve this for 95% of incidents.
We will continue to monitor the standard and our achievement against these targets.
We have also reviewed the plans for the new station at Fordbridge, including the proposal to have an on-call crew to work alongside the 24/7 full time crew. The council faces huge financial pressures and needs to find tens of millions of pounds extra each year to meet rising demand for services such as adult social care. In light of these pressures we’re facing, we have little choice but to propose to go ahead with Fordbridge without an on-call crew. An on-call unit would cost on average £185,000 per year and the impact on response times would be small. Arranging appropriate access to the site for an on-call crew would also be expensive and cause significant further delay to the project.
This consultation runs from 29 November 2016 through to 20 February 2017. The results will be analysed and a report with final recommendations will be sent to Surrey County Council’s Resident Experience Board for scrutiny and then submitted to the council’s Cabinet for a decision.
If you have any questions, are having difficulty completing the survey or you would like to receive a different format, contact the PSP team:
Surrey Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters
Or email us: email@example.com