Motion condemning closure of Bow and Silvertown fire station agreed at London Assembly
- Credit: Steve Poston
A motion urging Boris Johnson to reconsider plans to cut the budget for the London Fire Brigade, set to lead to the closure of Silvertown and Bow stations, was agreed at the London Assembly.
The cuts to the London Fire Brigade are aimed at saving £28.8m over two years and would see the closure of 10 fire stations and 14 engines across the capital.
The motion was proposed yesterday by Fiona Twycross, a London-wide Labour representative on the Assembly and backed by John Biggs, London Assembly member for City and East.
If the cuts go ahead the average response times to a fire in the Royal Docks area are predicted to increase from five minutes and 27 seconds to eight minutes and 39 seconds, an increase by more than three minutes and 12 seconds. For Bow the average response time is also expected to increase by two to three minutes. A fire engine would also be lost at Whitechapel.
Mr Biggs said: “Boris has publicly said that more London Boroughs will meet the six minute average attendance time target, but this is not the case in Tower Hamlets and Newham.
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“At a local level, 38 wards will now miss the six minute average attendance time target as a result of the proposed cuts, while only three wards will move into the target time.
“The Mayor must reconsider his position, drop his plans to close the stations at Bow and Silvertown and fully fund the London Fire Brigade.
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“We have seen an unprecedented level of engagement and response against Boris’s cuts to the London Fire Brigade. If he wants to, let the Mayor play with the fire but we are not prepared to sign up for this reckless plan.”
The motion was agreed by 13 votes for to five against at a meeting of the full Assembly.
But a spokeswoman for the London Mayor dismissed the motion saying: “This doesn’t change anything, the motion has no formal weight.”
She added that the Fire Commissioner has assured the Mayor and the Fire Authority that the cuts would not put lives at risk.