Emergency services in Westminster are being “devastated”

Across <place w:st=”on”><city w:st=”on”>London</city></place>, blue-light services are being threatened:

  • The London Fire Brigade is facing steep cuts due to the government cutting the fire budget by 25% – £65million in total

  • London Ambulance Service will lose £53million (19%) of it’s budget by 2015/16, resulting in 890 job cuts, of which 560 will be frontline staff

  • The Metropolitan Police is being cut by 12% and has already lost 1,777 police officers and 1,800 PCSOs in the past two years

  • A&Es will be forced to cater for an extra 120,000 residents on average each. In 2010 there were 32 A&E departments in <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>, but only 24 would remain under these plans.

London-wide Assembly Member Murad Qureshi who supported the motion said:

“The Mayor must wake up to the effects of these devastating cuts on Londoners’ safety. The closures of police front desks, fire stations and A & E departments will mean various pockets of <place w:st=”on”><city w:st=”on”>London</city></place> could see the safety of residents threatened by longer response times.”

“The Mayor has tried to duck and dive when questioned directly about cuts to the NHS but he has direct responsibility for the fire and police services so has to take responsibility for the closure of fire and police stations and the loss of police officers on his watch. These cuts are going too far and too fast and will inevitably endanger families and communities across the capital”

Ends

Notes

1.      Murad Qureshi is a Londonwide Assembly Member.

2.      The 32 A&E’s served a population of 8.17million Londoners, an average of 255,000 people each. Reducing to 24 A&Es will mean they have to cover 340,000 each, with <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>’s population due to rise to 9million by 2020. This will increase the number of people each A&E is due to cover to 375,000 residents – an increase of 120,000 for each A&E. This assumes that no further closures take place.

3.      The motion passed on Wednesday 24 October read:

“This Assembly believes that the safety and security of Londoners is being put at risk as a result of cuts to emergency services being pushed through by the Mayor and the Coalition Government to the key emergency services ““ the Metropolitan Police Service, the London Fire Brigade alongside the London Ambulance Service and the city’s Accident & Emergency Departments.

The Assembly believes that the cuts are going too far and too fast and that the many millions of pounds being taken from the budgets of the NHS, the Metropolitan Police Service and the London Fire Brigade will inevitably endanger families and communities across the capital.

This Assembly believes that the cuts, from these various budget streams, are being carried out without strategic consideration of their aggregate effects on Londoners’ safety or the geography of blue light coverage. The closures of police front desks, fire stations and A & E departments will mean various pockets of <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> could see the safety of residents threatened by longer response times.

This Assembly recognises the strategic, metropolitan perspective of the Mayor of <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> and Greater London Authority and challenges his acceptance of these cuts as an economic necessity, with little information or regard for the safety consequences. This Assembly calls on the Mayor to commission strategic research into the formation of blue light black holes, to stand up for Londoners against the cuts being imposed by the Coalition Government and to reconsider and abandon his own draconian cuts to the emergency services on which we rely to keep Londoners safe.”

The webcast for the London Assembly meeting where the motion was passed on Wednesday 24 October 2012 can be watched here: http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/the-london-assembly/webcasts

For more information please contact Research and Support Officer Nikki Salih, on 020 7983 4400. Number not for publication.