A safer London is a price worth paying for – Caroline Pidgeon

May 17, 2013 2:35 PM

The loss of 12 fire stations and 18 fire engines is totally unacceptable claim the Liberal Democrat Group on the London Assembly.

In a formal response to the London Fire Brigade's consultation on the draft London Safety Plan they repeat their opposition to the loss of fire stations and engines across London, highlighting how it will lead to increased responses times for many Londoners.

The submission also highlights how instead of accepting a reduced fire service there should instead be far more demanding targets set for London's fire service, especially in reducing the number of fires that take place in sheltered housing and care homes, and the reduction in call-outs to false alarms.

Describing why the closure of 12 fire stations, 18 fire engines and 520 fire-fighters' jobs was unacceptable Caroline Pidgeon said:

"The loss of 12 fire stations means London will lose at a stroke more than 10 per cent of its fire stations. It is an absolute fact that this will lead to increased response times with the Fire Brigade's own figures showing that in 34 wards across London the average response time for the arrival of the first fire engine will increase by at least one minute. In 14 wards the increase in average response times will be by more than two minutes and shockingly in five wards the average response time will increase by more than three minutes.

"The reduction in London's fire service is not inevitable. The Mayor is forcing through these cuts despite the opposition of the elected London Fire Authority and also the London Assembly.

"The cuts in London's fire service are only necessary because of the Mayor's desire to cut the council tax precept by just 7 pence a week for an average London household.

"A safer London is well worth paying for and that is why we will continue to oppose the closure of fire stations being driven forward by the Mayor of London."