Engine loss in Plaistow and Stratford approved

Firefighters attended a recycling plant blaze in River Road, Barking, this morning

Firefighters attended a recycling plant blaze in River Road, Barking, this morning - Credit: Archant

The scrapping of 13 of the capital’s fire engines appears inevitable after the Mayor’s decision was approved this afternoon.

An engine in both Stratford and Plaistow are set to be axed from next week after Urgency Committee members showed themselves in favour of the Mayor of London’s initial direction.

Paul Embery of the Fire Brigade Union has called the move “reckless and wrong”.

“We are completely opposed to the removal of the 13 engines,” he told the Recorder this evening.

“We are really disappointed with the decision that they have made this afternoon.”

Option A, chosen by the Mayor, had been voted against by firefighters but recommended by London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson.

“If it goes ahead, we think it’s going to endanger Londoners - we think it’s reckless and we think it’s wrong,” continued Mr Embery, who urged the Boris Johnson to rethink.

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A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “Frontline services and the safety of Londoners remain the Mayor’s top priority, and after carefully considering the issues raised by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the results of the public consultation exercise, he has decided to direct LFEPA to follow the Fire Commissioner’s preferred option.

“Fires and fire deaths in London remain at a record low as the London Fire Brigade continues to do an excellent job. In the two and half years since these 13 appliances have been held back from the frontline, response time targets have continued to be comfortably met. The savings achieved by their permanent removal would allow more money to be invested in frontline officers, and help fund vital long term work to continue reducing the number of fires and deaths in the capital for many years to come.”

A final meeting of the LFB budget will take place next Thursday, when the decision is expected to pass.

What do you think of the move? Email phoebe.cooke@archant.co.uk to share your views.

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