Station closures see demonstration
09 Jan 2014
Firefighters will demonstrate against the closure of 10 stations, saying the move will compromise public safety.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union and councillors will gather outside Clerkenwell fire station - the oldest operational fire station in London and one of the facilities set for closure. The fire station dates back to the 1870s but would be shut as part of a move by London Fire Brigade (LFB) to save £28.8 million.
Some 552 firefighters will be lost as part of the changes, but despite the LFB saying the cuts were "inevitable", it said there would be no change to service and public safety would not be compromised. It argues that the number of fires in the capital had fallen by 50% over the past decade, meaning the need for as many stations and staff wasn't as great. As part of the cuts, the number of engines in the force will be reduced by 14.
James Cleverly, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority said: "If you dial 999 and need a fire engine, we still aim to have one with you within six minutes, and a second, if needed, within eight.
"The brigade is faced with significant budget cuts which mean that changes to the service are inevitable and we are able to make those changes without compulsory redundancies."
Those staff who were working in the stations highlighted for closure will be transferred to other locations. London will have 102 fire stations and 155 fire engines.
Copyright Press Association 2014