Labour councils appeal to Secretary of State to Save Fire Stations
By londononline | Thursday, August 29, 2013, 18:16
London Labour councils have made an appeal to the Secretary of State to stop the cuts to 10 Fire Stations, including Westminster Fire Station in Greycoat Place.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London earlier this month pushed forward plans to save costs within the fire service, meaning that that 10 fire stations will be closed, together with the loss of 14 fire engines and 552 operational posts.
Eight councils, Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, have written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government asking him to overrule the Mayor's decision.
The councils argue that the Mayor's decision ignores the fire risks posed by potential terrorist targets and important tourist sites as well as social and student housing in the targeted boroughs. They maintain that the plan also ignores the challenges of fighting fires in high rise buildings. They say that in some boroughs safety will be compromised.
The councils are asking the Secretary of State to exercise his power to direct the Mayor to revoke a direction that is inconsistent with the Fire and Rescue National Framework.
If the appeal to the Secretary of State is unsuccessful, the councils intend to seek a judicial review of the Mayor's decision.
The 10 stations facing closure are Westminster, Belsize in Camden, Bow in Tower Hamlets, Clerkenwell in Islington, Downham in Lewisham, Kingsland in Hackney, Knightsbridge in Kensington and Chelsea, Silvertown in Newham, Southwark and Woolwich in Greenwich. Waltham Forest stands to lose three fire appliances under the cuts.