The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has condemned a decision by the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to overrule his own fire authority and press ahead with plans to close 12 fire stations, remove 18 engines and slash 520 firefighter posts in the capital. The mayor announced the unprecedented move this afternoon.
Last week, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority rejected the plans on the grounds that they would threaten public safety. But the mayor said today that he would continue with the process of implementing the cuts.
The FBU’s regional secretary for London, Paul Embery, said: “These cuts are reckless and wrong, and it is an outrage that the mayor is going against the democratic decision of his own fire authority and the wishes of most Londoners. The mayor makes the absurd claim that these cuts would somehow improve public safety. But the London Fire Brigade’s own figures reveal that the cuts would result in increased response times for nearly five million Londoners, with only a fifth of the capital’s population seeing an improvement.
“The mayor is single-handedly jeopardising the safety of millions of Londoners on the altar of crude economic considerations. These cuts would save just seven pence per week on the average council tax bill.
“We now need the widest possible campaign, with local communities working together with the FBU to stop these dangerous cuts. That fight begins today.”
Contact: Paul Embery 07854 998 508
30th January 2013