Hundreds of Londoners are expected to take to the streets in north London tomorrow (June 8) to protest the closure of Clerkenwell fire station under budget cutting proposals put forward by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the London Fire Brigade. Campaigners say closure of the Clerkenwell fire station will leave only three fire engines servicing the UK’s most densely populated borough of Islington with more than 200,000 residents, and will mean only six fire engines will service the central London area, putting people’s lives at risk.
In order to make £45m savings, the LFB needs to save £15m in 2013-14 and another £30m by 2015, the fire authority has said:
‘Compared to 10 years ago, the brigade attends half as many fires, a third fewer house fires and almost a third fewer incidents overall. In the future, the resources available to the brigade will reduce and the number of people who can work for the brigade and provide our services will also reduce. We have passed the point where we can make the necessary level of savings without any impact on our fire stations,’ Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson has said. A spokeswoman for LFB said the proposals sought to keep London-wide response targets. ‘As is the case now, over half of all London wards would, on average, continue to get a first response within the six minute target if the proposals are agreed.’ Rebecca Taylor
Boris Johnson has backed a public consultation on the closures, which will end on June 17. For info, see london-fire.gov.uk.