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"This Plan sets out our current level of resources available to our  communities and aims to show you what we intend to do in the future."          

Since becoming a separate organisation in 1997, the Fire Authority has continued to invest in East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to make sure it has the right resources to make a real difference in saving lives, reducing injuries, protecting properties and contributing wherever it can to supporting all our local communities.

But there is a lot less to spend in public services these days and there will be even less in the future. As a Service, we have found ways to do more with less, saving over £7m in efficiencies over the past few years.

We issued a public consultation version of this Plan in September 2012 to seek the views of staff, stakeholders and members of the public on priorities for the future bearing in mind the need to make further significant savings, currently estimated at £4m by 2017/18, due to a continued reduction in government funding.

We know that we will have to make some difficult decisions in order to deliver additional savings of this scale. This will not be easy on a budget of £39.1m when so much has been achieved already.

We are grateful to everyone for their views on the future of our service and we have taken them into consideration in drawing up this plan which sets out what we propose to do in the future.

Despite these Budget pressures, we will continue to focus on delivering our Vision and aims. In accordance with our statutory duties and the Government’s Framework Document, we will continue to provide cost effective prevention, protection and emergency response services. We will keep looking for ways to reduce other costs so that our overall performance standards are maintained.