Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will continue to force through his closure of Kingsland and Clerkenwell fire stations. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) will meet next week (Thursday 18th July 2013) to vote on the Mayor’s plans. The documents for that meeting – which were published this afternoon – show the Mayor has backed down on the closure of Clapham and New Cross Fire Stations. However, he will continue to try and force the rest of fire cuts through.
The Mayor wanted to close 12 fire stations, cut 18 fire engines and axe 520 firefighters. The updated plans released today show that Clapham will stay open, but will lose one of its two fire engines; Chelsea Fire Station will keep both of its fire engines; East Greenwich Fire Station will receive a second fire engine; and New Cross Fire Station will remain. This now means that 10 fire stations will still close with the total loss of 14 fire engines.
The stations that are now planned to close are Belsize, Bow, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster and Woolwich.
The stations that will still lose a fire engine are: Chingford, Hayes, Leyton, Leytonstone, Peckham and Whitechapel.
This decision by Boris Johnson is just so unacceptable as at the public meetings in Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest residents, assembly members, councillors, borough leaders and MP’s spoke with one voice against the closure of fire stations at Kingsland and Clerkenwell and the loss of engines at Chingford, Leyton and Leytonstone.
Boris has not listened to residents and is going ahead with his ill-thought out plan. His behaviour is simply beyond the pale!
At the many public meetings I have attended my constituents have spoken out about their fear for the safety of the areas where they live and work. 5,000 people from Islington signed a petition calling for Boris to think again and to stop his planned closure of Clerkenwell Fire Station, as they are understandably worried about injuries and fatalities from fire.
I am deeply disappointed that Boris has failed to protect London’s fire brigade by not scrapping his plans. He has let Londoners down with his plan to close 10 fire stations and axe 14 fire engines.
We all know that savings have to be made, but the London Fire Brigade has already saved £66million from the back office. Boris is cutting too far and all to fund his penny a day council tax cut.
I know, because they have said it loud and clear, that my constituents across North-East London, covering the boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest would prefer a fully funded fire service that can respond to fire incidents more quickly?