The Fire Brigades Union has condemned proposals by the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to close 12 fire stations, remove 18 fire engines and slash around 400 firefighter jobs. The plans – which were disclosed today – come as a result of the mayor’s desire to save more than £50m over two years.
The FBU’s regional secretary for London, Paul Embery, said today: “These proposed cuts are dangerous and wrong. If they are implemented, they will undoubtedly jeopardise the safety of Londoners and firefighters alike.
“The London Fire Brigade now faces perhaps the biggest threat to its ability to function since the Second World War.
“The mayor has argued that response times will not be affected by these cuts. Aside from the fact that he has provided little supporting evidence for this claim, anyone who knows anything about firefighting knows that it isn’t just about the speed of response; the weight of response – ensuring that you have adequate resources to deal with developing and large-scale incidents – is just as crucial. These cuts would deplete the service and impair its ability to respond quickly and effectively to serious incidents.
“All around the country, chief fire officers are beginning to warn publicly of the danger of catastrophic cuts. Nowhere will those cuts be felt more acutely than in the capital.
“It is intolerable that Londoners’ safety is being compromised because of crude economic considerations. These reckless cuts will endanger Londoners, and we will campaign vigorously against them. We urge Londoners to join us in that campaign.”
List of stations earmarked for closure: Belsize, Bow, Clapham, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, New Cross, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster, Woolwich.
Ian Leahair 07854 998 505
Paul Embery 07854 998 508
11th January 2013