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Breaking news: Clerkenwell fire station could close next month after council loses High Court battle

Angry fire fighters standing in front of their station Clerkenwell which has served the community for 140 years. Pic: Dieter Perry Angry fire fighters standing in front of their station Clerkenwell which has served the community for 140 years. Pic: Dieter Perry

Friday, December 20, 2013
12:56 PM

Clerkenwell fire station could close in a matter of weeks after the town hall lost its High Court battle to save the station from closure.

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Islington Council, along with seven other authorities, were fighting London mayor Boris Johnson’s proposals to close 10 fire stations in the capital.

A judge rejected the councils’ claim that the mayor’s plans were legally flawed for a number of reasons, including a failure to take into account the reality of increased fire risks in inner London.

Campaigners say the cuts, which involve the loss of more than 500 jobs and the axing of 14 engines, would be “reckless, wrong and will seriously endanger lives”.

But Mr Justice Foskett, sitting at London’s High Court, ruled the process by which the closure decision was reached was lawful.

He said: “I appreciate that the outcome will come as a disappointment to a number of people who had hoped to see the proposed changes to the provision of fire services in their area set aside.”

Terry Stacy, leader of Islington’s opposition Lib Dem group and former Fire Authority member, said: “This is a sad day for Islington, I still stand by the view that the closures of Clerkenwell Fire station will put residents are risk.”

The application for judicial review was brought by the borough councils of Islington, Camden, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lewisham and Greenwich.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has fought the proposed closures, which are part of a drive to save more than £28million and have led to demonstrations across London.

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