Chiswick Fire Station Unaffected by Cuts

Union say Mayor's plan biggest threat to brigade's ability to function since WWII


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Chiswick Fire Station is not on the list of stations to be closed in the London Fire Authority's proposed strategy. A draft plan just published shows that 12 stations across the capital are to be axed with the loss of 520 jobs and 18 fire appliances.

chiswick fire station

Previously one option had been to close the local station. The authority needed to reduce its budget by over £64 million in the next two years and Chiswick was one of those that a leaked report had highlighted as being at risk. Modelling had suggested that one of Chiswick's appliances could be transferred to Acton after the station closed.

There was originally also a proposal to close Acton and move an appliance to Chiswick. This was abandoned when it was found that Ealing would be the only borough to move from within target response targets to outside. It also avoided additional practical difficulties associated with closing Acton, which include the presence of the London Ambulance Service and the single person quarters.

The FBU's regional secretary for London, Paul Embery, said today: “These proposed cuts are dangerous and wrong. If they are implemented, they will undoubtedly jeopardise the safety of Londoners and firefighters alike.

“The London Fire Brigade now faces perhaps the biggest threat to its ability to function since the Second World War.

“The mayor has argued that response times will not be affected by these cuts. Aside from the fact that he has provided little supporting evidence for this claim, anyone who knows anything about firefighting knows that it isn't just about the speed of response; the weight of response – ensuring that you have adequate resources to deal with developing and large-scale incidents – is just as crucial. These cuts would deplete the service and impair its ability to respond quickly and effectively to serious incidents."

Stephen Knight, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member said: "These cuts being forced on London's fire brigade by Boris Johnson will make London less safe and are unnecessary."

List of stations earmarked for closure: Belsize, Bow, Clapham, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, New Cross, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster, Woolwich.

The number of fire stations in London would be reduced to 100 under the proposals, which are to be voted on by the fire authority on 21 January.

A draft version of the safety plan is available here.

January 12, 2013

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