BREAKING NEWS: Cutbacks could see emergency services pushed to the limit during Olympics
ANTICIPATED budget cutbacks could leave London’s emergency services unable to cope with the pressure of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the London Assembly said today.
Planning for the Games has been hindered by uncertainty over funding ahead of next Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review, said the Assembly’s Health and Public Services Committee in its latest report.
The Met Police told the Committee it is the biggest peacetime operation they have undertaken and they will be “very, very stretched” during 2012.
London Ambulance Service is estimating that they will need 300 extra staff to cover Games-time demand.
The report also notes that London Fire Brigade is already estimating a �900,000 shortfall for planning around the Games.
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Away from the sporting events, emergency service personnel will be stretched even further with the range of cultural and community activities planned, and there is a lack of clarity over when and where they will be, the report states.
James Cleverly AM, Chair of the London Assembly Health and Public Services Committee, said: “2012 will be an unusual year and London’s health and emergency services will be under extraordinary pressure.
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“Much hard work has already been completed to prepare for this challenge and, on the current evidence, it seems the capital should be able to deliver business as usual for Londoners during the Games.
“However we have identified a number of areas where more work is needed over the next year and we will be keeping a close eye on preparations to ensure all remains on track.”