As Conservative group Leader, the public safety of residents in Brighton and Hove is always my No 1 priority.
Whether it is public safety in relation to crime, anti-social behaviour or the health of vulnerable people, this is something that our Conservative councillors will never shy away from raising on behalf of the community, regardless of the politics of the issue.
The current consultation under way for the restructuring of the East Sussex Fire Service has put the spotlight on fire safety in the city of Brighton and Hove.
The changes proposed would potentially result in the loss of up to five frontline firefighters from Preston Circus Fire Station, with these firefighters being redeployed to other duties.
We have a fantastic and well-co-ordinated fire service in East Sussex and in recent years the incidence of fires has reduced by nearly half in some parts of the county thanks to preventative work.
But using this recent success in reducing fire service callouts across the city to argue for a reduction in the number of our frontline firefighters, as this consultation document does, is unwise.
A well-staffed, well-paid fire service in East Sussex is our insurance policy for the people of Brighton and Hove and we should fight to maintain the status quo that has delivered such positive results.
As Conservative group leader I am therefore opposed to any changes that would see the reduction of frontline fire officers in Brighton and Hove and will continue to be vocal in standing up for the community on this issue.
Councillor Steve Bell is the leader of the Conservative group on Brighton and Hove City Council.