Green light for closure of Bow and Silvertown fire stations

Mayor of London Boris Johnson

Mayor of London Boris Johnson - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to shut two east London fire stations have been given the go ahead.

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority last week voted through proposals to close 10 fire stations and axe 550 jobs across the capital as it seeks savings of £45million over the next two years.

Among the 10 facing closure in plans backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson are Bow in Tower Hamlets and Silvertown in Newham. Whitechapel fire station will also lose one of its two engines.

The measures will come into effect in January 2014 as part of the ‘Fifth London Safety Plan’.

London Assembly Member John Biggs, who represents the City and east London, said the Labour Party had wanted to fight the decision in court – but was told a legal challenge would fail.

“We are all deeply disappointed that Boris’ cuts have now been forced through and that both Bow and Silvertown fire stations will now close,” he said.

“It is a disgrace that Boris has not used his power and resources to fully fund the London Fire Brigade and keep the other ten open as well. He is putting Londoners at risk and making our great city less safe.”

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But Mr Johnson insisted ensuring Londoners are safe is one of his “top priorities”, adding that his rivals’ failure to face fiscal responsibilities left the fire authority in an “increasingly precarious position”.

Tower Hamlets is one of four London councils considering a legal challenge against the cuts.