Closure of Clerkenwell fire station moves closer despite Islington’s City Hall protest

14:03 25 February 2013


Islington's protest outisde the City Hall


The closure of Clerkenwell fire station moved a step closer today as London Mayor Boris Johnson’s controversial budget was passed.

Thousands of Islington residents signed a petition against scrapping the historic station – which the borough’s political top brass delivered en masse to this morning’s meeting of the London Assembly.

The Mayor wants to reduce the London Fire Brigade (LFB) budget by £45million over the next two years, which fire chiefs say will lead to the closure 12 stations, including Clerkenwell and Kingsland in Kingsland Road, Haggerston.

An amendment to keep LFB funding constant was passed by 16 members to nine – but a majority of two thirds is needed to change the mayor’s budget, so the cuts will stand.

A delegation of Islington’s senior Labour politicians made the trip to City Hall, but Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South, was told she wasn’t allowed to hand the petition due to there being a different procedure for budget meetings.

She said: “It’s going to be hard to explain to people in Islington why I wasn’t allowed to hand their signatures in. It’s unimaginative bureaucracy.”

She added: “Boris Johnson didn’t even acknowledge how strongly the people of Islington feel – he just made cheap political points. It’s rather insulting.”

Pam Zinkin, 81, a retired paediatrician and part of the Islington Pensioners Forum also joined the protest.

She said: “I’ve seen enough children with burns injuries over the years to know that while ambulances need to get to the scene of a fire in minutes, fire engines need to be there in seconds. Then they can prevent people suffering burns in the first place, rather than treating them afterwards.

“You’ve got to do what you believe in. Boris Johnson has led such a sheltered life – he doesn’t know anything about burnt children.”

Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “In all the years I have been involved with politics in Islington this is the first time I’ve had to come down to City Hall.

“It’s scandalous that these stations are being sold off and it will endanger the most vulnerable people in society. That’s what having a Conservative mayor means.”


Latest News Stories

Mayor of London Boris Johnson discusses knife crime with Brooke and Deborah Kinsella on Tuesday

Before 2015 is out, knife crime in Islington is already at its highest rate since 2010.

Yesterday, 16:00
Members of the Ben Kinsella Trust meeting with Boris Johnson at the Finsbury Library to discuss knife crime in London

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has urged more stop and searches to tackle Islington’s knife shame.

Yesterday, 14:29
Islington is lit up at Angel Central's festive extravaganza last weekend

Christmas lights switch-on events will bring festive cheer across Islington this month – with each one offering something slightly different.

Yesterday, 14:09
Holloway Prison. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA

Holloway Prison is to close, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said this afternoon.

Yesterday, 11:58
Audrey Bailey celebrating her 90th birthday in the Mayor's Parlour at Islington Town Hall accompanied by her husband George Bailey and her daughter Sara

She was just three weeks old when her mother handed her over to strangers. But now, nearly 90 years on, former Islington resident Audrey Bailey has been welcomed back to her birthplace by the Mayor himself.

Yesterday, 08:30
Islington trading standards officer Doug Love with bottles of counterfeit alcohol

A tough stance on sale of illicit alcohol and smuggled spirits in Islington is saving the treasury almost half a million pounds in lost duty every year.

Tue, 18:01
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The two young men from Kentish Town who left the UK to fight for Islamic State (IS) in Syria are former pupils of Acland Burghley School.

Most read news


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder