The Scoop

Boris Johnson to break promise not to cut fire engines

Adam Bienkov | Friday 8 June, 2012 14:50

Boris Johnson is to break his promise not to cut London’s fleet of fire engines, it was reported today.

The Mayor had denied claims before the election that he was planning to remove 27 fire engines from the brigade.

However, it now appears that he does intend to go ahead with those plans to both remove engines and close fire stations across London.

According to Pippa Crerar at the Evening Standard

“Fire stations across the capital face closure while hundreds of firefighters could lose their jobs and engines could be taken off the roads… Mayor Boris Johnson has previously ruled out frontline cuts. However, he is now expected to give them the green light.”

Pressed on plans first revealed by me two years ago Boris Johnson to remove the engines, he told the London Assembly that:

“The answer is no. I am in favour of retaining the 27 fire appliances and all front line operatives… There shouldn’t be a reduction in the fire appliances… I don’t want to get rid of them, what’s the problem?”

However, according to the Standard today:

“The Fire Brigade has 6,000 firefighters in London and hundreds of jobs could go through natural wastage. It also has 169 fire engines and up to 27 could be taken out of service.”

They also report that:

“Fire stations in outer London — including Wennington, Biggin Hill, Stanmore, Purley and Sutton — are understood to be the most vulnerable to closure. However, central London stations such as those at Euston Road, Kensington High Street and Whitechapel could also face mergers.”

£50 million was taken out of the Fire Brigades reserves before the election so that Boris Johnson could maintain police officer numbers.

The Fire Brigade’s Union today refused to rule out industrial action if the mayor goes ahead with the cuts.

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