LONDON
Wednesday, 3 September 2014

        

520 firefighters, 18 fire engines and 12 fire stations face axe

By Adam Bienkov
11 January 2013, 14:39

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Over 500 firefighting jobs, 18 fire engines and 12 fire stations face the axe under proposals announced by the London Fire Brigade today.

Two years ago Boris Johnson told the London Assembly he had “no plans” to cut fire engines and insisted that there should be no cuts to firefighters either.

However, under the plans announced today he will oversee the closure of the following stations:

Belsize
Bow
Clapham
Clerkenwell
Downham
Kingsland
Knightsbridge
New Cross
Silvertown
Southwark
Westminster
Woolwich

Five other stations previously threatened with closure will remain open, including Boris Johnson’s own local station in Islington.

The following fire stations will lose fire engines:

Chelsea – Two fire engines to one
Chingford – 2 to 1
Hayes – 2 to 1
Leyton – 2 to 1
Leytonstone – 2 to 1
Peckham – 2 to 1
Whitechapel – 2 to 1

Hendon, Orpington, Stanmore and Twickenham will each gain a fire engine. 18 fire engines will be lost overall.

The number of station closures is significantly lower than some earlier proposals.

However, despite Boris’s promise not to cut the brigade’s front line, the majority of savings for the period to 2015 will be made by cutting firefighter jobs.

Commissioner Ron Dobson said today that it would be possible to lose 520 jobs without any compulsory redundancies.

However he said that compulsory redundancies “would become significantly more likely” if the time in which savings have to be made is reduced.

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Ron Dobson said today:

“Additional savings cannot be found without making significant changes to how we keep London safe. In the last decade, demand for the Brigade’s service has changed dramatically and it’s time to reflect that in how our fire stations, engines and staff are organised.”

Labour’s Navin Shah said the the cuts would put Londoner’s safety at risk:

“We understand that savings have to be made, but the level of cuts forced on the London Fire Brigade by the Mayor and government are truly reckless. Boris’s cuts are hitting front-line services and putting public safety at risk.”

Green Party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson said the cuts could have been avoided, if the Mayor had cancelled his plans to cut council tax:

“The public are desperately worried about these closures. Rather than cutting council tax the mayor should be providing the funding to keep these fire stations open. The closures are completely unnecessary but the mayor seems more interested in council tax cuts than Londons safety.”

The proposals will now go to consultation and will be put to a vote by the London Fire Authority.

65 police stations also face closure across London under plans revealed this week.

Adam Bienkov
Adam is a reporter for Politics.co.uk You can find links to his other work at AdamBienkov.com.

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