Mayor under fire from London councils over station closure plans

12:46 06 February 2013

Boris Johnson has come under fire from London councils

Boris Johnson has come under fire from London councils

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Kensington and Chelsea has become the latest London borough to oppose Boris Johnson’s cost-cutting plans to close 12 of the capital’s fire stations.

Under the Mayor’s proposals, Knightsbridge will be closed, while one of Chelsea fire station’s two pumps will be removed under the Fifth London Safety Plan.

Nearby Westminster station also faces closure, prompting opposition from Westminster City Council.

A Kensington and Chelsea council spokesman said: “The area covered by these fire stations is one of the busiest in London with more visitors, tourist attractions and governmental and diplomatic premises than anywhere else in the country.

“The council will work with the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority to seek changes to LSP5 that it believes are necessary to ensure the continued safety of Kensington and Chelsea and this broader part of central London.”

Mr Johsnon last week used his mayoral powers to push for a consultation into the original proposals by the London Fire Brigade, despite their rejection by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

The plans involves shedding 520 firefighter jobs and saving £45million.

It comes after Islington Council last week agreed a motion opposing the cuts after Clerkenwell station was named on the closure list. They have objected in writing to Mr Johnson’s plans.

Leader, Labour Cllr Catherine West said: “This council challenges the Mayor’s assertion that this scale of cuts is necessary and acceptable.

“The xouncil calls on the Mayor to stand up for Londoners and to think again about these draconian cuts to a vital emergency service which we rely on to keep Londoners safe.”

Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Terry Stacy, also a member of LFEPA, seconded the motion. He has already voted against the proposed cuts.

He said: “Clerkenwell and Dalston Kingsland fire stations provide critical cover for local residents.

“All Islington’s councillors are united in their opposition to these fire budget cuts and we will do everything in our power to get these dangerous plans ditched.”

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