The Scoop

Seventeen fire stations to be closed across London

Adam Bienkov | Wednesday 17 October, 2012 16:06

Seventeen fire stations are to be closed across London under secret proposals seen by The Scoop.

Members of the London Fire Authority leaked the plans after the Mayor refused to release them at today’s Mayor’s Question Time.

Under the proposals Acton, Bow, Belsize, Clapham, Clerkenwell, Downham, Islington, Kensington, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, New Cross, Peckham, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster, Whitechapel and Woolwich fire stations would all close.

Last year Woolwich fire station was visited by fire minister Bob Neill who praised firefighters there for their work during the riots.

Under the plans a further four stations would lose a fire engine and nine others would gain them. Overall 17 fire engines would be taken out of action across London and around 600 jobs would go.

The mayor has told the brigade to save £65 million from their budget over the next two years. Every London firefighter has been told to consider voluntary redundancy.

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade Union warned that the service was being “decimated”:

“These proposals present the biggest threat to the London Fire Brigade since the days of the Luftwaffe and would lead to the decimation of fire cover in London. The stations under threat of closure have stood proudly for generations, protecting local residents from bombs, fire and terrorism, yet Boris Johnson is about to hammer a ‘For Sale’ sign on to their front doors.”

Boris Johnson said at Mayor’s Questions today that average fire response times would not drop below six minutes under his plans.

He insisted that “what matters to us is that response times must be kept low.”

The full proposals are due to be announced next month.

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