June 18 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Two of Islington’s three fire stations could close as part of planned cuts by London Mayor Boris Johnson – including the one nearest his home.
Both Islington Station, in Upper Street, and Clerkenwell Station, in Rosebery Avenue, could be for the chop as part of a bid to slash £65million from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) budget, according to a leaked document.
But for the move to go ahead, the LFEPA must nod it through. No party has a majority on the panel and the deciding vote could come down to Islington councillor Terry Stacy, who sits on the authority.
He said: “Clerkenwell and Upper Street fire stations provide critical cover for local residents, as well as the City and other high-profile locations. The Mayor is totally wrong to look at cuts like these in such sensitive locations.
“These proposals for possible fire station closures in Islington, and the removal of fire engines, flow directly from the budget cuts that Boris Johnson is forcing on the London Fire Brigade. The Mayor recklessly set the level of cuts for the next two years without taking any advice from senior fire officers as to the consequences.
“Boris Johnson should realise that fire cuts on this scale will be unacceptable to Islington residents and provide the fire brigade with the budget it needs to do the job. Liberal Democrats are totally opposed to the Mayor’s fire budget and I will do everything in my power to get these dangerous plans ditched.”
Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “These proposals are deeply worrying and confirm our worst fears. In a borough with over 200,000 residents it is unacceptable and reckless to have only one operating fire station.”
She added: “ London Fire Brigade keeps our city safe 24 hours a day and fire fatalities have reduced by a third over the last decade. Shutting stations and slashing jobs threatens all this good work.”
Kingsland fire station just over the borough’s borders in Hackney is also under threat.
The Mayor is yet to comment.