December 7 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Eight councils have appealed to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to overrule the Mayor of London’s decision to shut 10 fire stations in the capital.
Under the plans the 10 stations which will close will be Belsize in Camden, Bow in Tower Hamlets, Clerkenwell in Islington, Downham in Lewisham, Kingsland in Hackney, Knightsbridge in Kensington and Chelsea, Silvertown in Newham, Southwark, Westminster, and Woolwich in Greenwich.
The plans also include the loss of 14 fire engines and 552 operational posts.
Boris Johnson took the decision to forge ahead with the plans, overturning a vote by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LEFPA) against the cuts.
Today the Royal Borough of Greenwich became the eighth council to join the fight against the cuts. Along with Camden, Hackney, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest councils it has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, asking him to overrule the Mayor’s decision.
The councils argue that Mr Johnson’s decision ignores the fire risks posed by potential terrorist targets and a concentration of tourist attractions, as well as social and student housing in the affected boroughs. It also ignores the challenges of fighting fires in high rise buildings and in prisons.
The councils have also asked the Secretary of State to exercise his power to direct Mr Johnson to overturn his decision on the grounds it is inconsistent with national Fire and Rescue priorities.
Cllr Peter Brooks, deputy leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich shares the views of local people that these cuts will make many of our residents less safe.”
If the appeal to the Secretary of State is unsuccessful, the eight councils say they are prepared to seek a judicial review of the Mayor’s decision.