Closing Silvertown Fire station would be ‘dangerous’ and ‘wrong’

Closing a Newham fire station near City Airport and heavy industry such as the famous Tate & Lyle sugar factory would be dangerous and wrong.

That is the verdict from the London Fire Brigades Union’ regional secretary, Paul Embery,

after a leaked document is said to have earmarked Silvertown as one of 17 stations in the capital facing the axe.

Mr Embery describes the overall proposals as the biggest threat to the brigade since the Luftwaffe.

The document, said to marked the “preferred” option, was drawn up by bosses at the London Fire Brigade in response to demands by London Mayor Boris Johnson to save �65million.

Under the proposals 600 jobs would be slashed and four fire engines removed from four stations across London.

Paul Embery said: “Silvertown has got City Airport just next to it, plus heavy industry such as Tate and Lyle, places like this are high risk in case of a fire with thousands of people passing through. It would be very dangerous and wrong to remove a station close to there.

Most Read

“I’m very sceptical of Boris Johnson’s audacious claim that closing stations and having fewer resources would not lead to a reduction in safety. —I’ve seen no evidence of that.

“It’s not just about the speed of responding to an emergency, it is also about having back up resources, such as more fire engines, which can make the difference between life and death.

“These proposals present the biggest threat to the Brigade since the Luftwaffe and would lead to the decimation of fire cover in London. The stations under threat of closure have stood proudly for generations, protecting residents from bombs, fire and terrorism, yet Boris Johnson is about to hammer a For Sale sign on to their front doors.”

Mr Johnson’s spokeswoman said the proposals were “hypothetical” and declined to comment until the proposals are put to the London fire authority on November 22.

A spokeswoman for the London Fire Brigade said: “Like virtually every other public service we’re facing the need to make savings. There is a savings target but the full details will not be known until at least December, when the Government announces its grant to the Brigade.

“We expect to be able to maintain our current target response times. No decisions about any possible fire station closures have yet been taken. Before they are, there will be a full public consultation.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter