Local fire station campaigners are meeting next week to discuss the next steps to fight the Mayor of London’s plans to close two local fire stations.
A meeting is taking place in Committee Room 2, Islington Town Hall, 222 Upper Street, 6pm. Tuesday 23 July.
Islington Labour’s press release
Islington Labour condemns Tory Mayor as he presses on with fire station closure plan
Despite clear public opposition from Londoners, Boris Johnson and the Tory leadership of the London Fire Authority are determined to impose closure of fire stations in London.
Islington Labour has condemned the decision taken today by the Conservative leadership of the London Fire Authority to cut the number of fire stations in London from 112 to 102 and to reduce the number of appliances from 169 to 155. In ‘reprieving’ 2 fire stations at Clapham and New Cross, the Mayor is merely tinkering with a mammoth cuts plan.
Two of the fire stations slated for closure, Clerkenwell and Kingsland, provide emergency cover to a large part of Islington and to Hackney, the City of London and Camden.
Islington Council’s Member for community safety, Paul Convery said:
“This is a dangerous plan proposed by the Mayor of London and Tory leadership of the Fire Authority. The lengthy and comprehensive public consultation has shown that Londoners and their Borough Councils have decisively rejected the fire station closures and called for an alternative financing deal. Labour, Lib Dems and even Tory controlled Councils in London have called for the closure plan to be scrapped. The £45.5 million Fire Brigade cut proposed by the Mayor of London equates to just 0.4% of the total budget under his control. These savings could be found elsewhere in the Mayor’s City Hall empire from savings which have no significant effect on front line services.”
The Tories have simply ignored the obvious conclusion that they should not cut fire stations and fire engines even though there has been a reduction in the number of fire incidents in London in recent years.
Having fewer appliances that take longer to reach fires is not logical. When incidents do happen, it doesn’t make the distance required to reach those fires any shorter.
Responding to the public consultation, Islington Council argued that current fire-fighting response capacity should be maintained and rejected closure of all fire stations
But it also made the case for keeping fire cover for our own Borough:
- Islington is now the most densely populated borough in the country;
- Our population is rising fast and will continue to do so in coming years;
- We have many thousands of residents living in medium and high-rise buildings which require multiple appliance responses to incidents;
- It takes longer to begin active-fire-fighting in tall buildings than it does for typical homes in more suburban settings;
Modelled response times show our Borough will experience increases in response time and 4 wards will fall outside the 6 or 8 minute target response times.
Islington also argued strongly for keeping Clerkenwell fire station which serves a vital strategic role in central London and serves the sensitive areas of the City and City fringe.
Gary Heather, Labour Group Researcher, firstname.lastname@example.org