lt is feared that fire stations across London particularly in central London are at risk of closure. At last Wednesday’s London Assembly Fire Authority question and answer session details were revealed about the potential impact of cuts on fire-fighting in London. The London Fire Commissioner revealed that they have already proposed £14million of cuts with a further £21million still to be identified. This amounts to £35million of cuts to be made in the next financial year.
The Commissioner revealed that the cost of operating a fire station with one fire appliance is £1.4million per year. This means that 15 fire stations and appliances are at risk of closure this year with up to 25 next year. There are currently 112 fire stations in London.
The London Fire Brigade is facing steep cuts due to the government cutting the fire budget by 25 per cent this is even deeper than the 20 per cent cut to the police’s budget.
These figures confirms our worst fears, in total up to 40 fire stations are at risk of closure in the next two years, along with their fire appliances. If we lose such a large chunk of our existing fire cover it will impact on public safety.
We understand that savings have to be made, but the level of cuts forced on the London Fire Brigade by government are truly reckless. They are cutting too far, too fast. They are hitting front-line services and putting public safety at risk.
The mayor needs to come clean on fire brigade cuts and tell Londoners what he is planning to close.