WE note the concerns of residents who have signed a petition to George Osborne regarding changes to operations at Knutsford Fire Station, but should point out that Cheshire East Council has no operational responsibilities for setting the rate of the Fire Service Levy and no control over its operational activities.

We understand that a review of Cheshire Fire has been ongoing for a while and as part of the consultation, Knutsford Town Council received a presentation when Fire Service officials and the union made their case about the changes.

At the public meeting, councillors were advised that the majority of incidents attended by Knutsford Station were not in Knutsford; many related to incidents on the motorway network and further away. Ironically, we were advised that a fire in Knutsford may not be attended by a Knutsford Fire Station team.

You may be aware that one of the town councillors retired from the Fire Service in the last two years; having spent a significant part of his career at Knutsford, he too concurred with the reasoning of Fire Service officials.

It is not often that councillors have the benefit of such hands-on experience within its ranks, but it helped us better understand the issues.

We are happy to raise your concerns with CEC in order to gain a fuller picture of the current proposals and will report back with the information.

Stewart Gardiner, Olivia Hunter, Peter Raynes Knutsford Ward Councillor