Hanover needs a smaller fire engine says election candidate

Posted On 23 Dec 2010 at 10:52 am

A Labour election candidate is urging the fire service to buy a smaller fire engine to cope with the narrow streets in some parts of Brighton.

Leo Barraclough spoke out after firefighters had difficulty reaching a fire in Toronto Terrace in Hanover early on Sunday morning.

The fire engine was parked some distance away from the fire because it couldn’t make it between the lines of parked cars.

Mr Barraclough will contest Hanover and Elm Grove ward in the Brighton and Hove City Council elections next May.

He said: “I was in the street on Tuesday and it is frightening to think what could have happened if the blaze had caught hold and spread down the street.

“Anyone who, like I, has lived in Hanover knows how closely packed the houses are and how small a space there is between the lines of parked cars on both sides.

“You can hardly get a normal car down those streets let alone a fire engine.”

He said that East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service could buy one of the smaller-sized fire engines that are available.

“The penny-pinching Conservatives and Lib Dems might think that the risk is acceptable and the residents of Hanover should all come rushing out with buckets of water when there’s a fire, in a Big Society type of way.

“But I think the risks to the people of Hanover are unacceptable.

“A smaller fire engine needs to be purchased now and located at Preston Circus because the next Hanover family may not be so lucky.”

The fire destroyed the bedroom of Jack Savage, 12, but Jack, his sister Eve, 8, his mother Lucy Moran, 45, and stepfather Tony Dain escaped unhurt from the fire.

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Difficulty in accessing residential areas due to inconsiderate parking is an ongoing a problem for all emergency service vehicles.

“For example, while cars might be able to pass down streets which have restricted access due to double parking or incorrect parking, it may well be that fire engines or even ambulances can’t.

“We would always urge residents to park legally and considerately.

“It really can make all the difference.

“Our fire engines are well equipped with hose reels and a sufficient water supply to deal with any incident a considerable distance away.

“However, there are undoubtedly occasions when incidents could have been dealt with more speedily if access to a particular road had not been unnecessarily blocked.”

Residents in Hanover and Elm Grove were consulted by the council about a parking scheme in the area earlier this year but rejected the idea.

Three out of four voted against the council bringing in a controlled parking zone in their area.

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