December 12 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 7, 2013
Seven London councils are taking Boris Johnson to court in the latest step in their fight to stop the cuts to the capital’s fire service.
The local authorities submitted a joint application for a judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice to reverse a decision by the Mayor of London to close 10 fire stations across the city.
A spokesman for Greenwich borough, one of those involved, said the councils have also applied for an injunction preventing the cuts programme from being put in place until the judicial review application has been considered.
He said the councils’ legal challenge is based on the cuts being ‘unlawful, budget-driven and will have a serious effect on some residents’ lives’.
The move comes after the Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, rejected a request by the authorities to overrule the plans agreed by the Mayor, the London Fire Commissioner and the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority.
Councillor Chris Roberts, leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said, “We believe we have a strong case and that we will succeed in defending our communities from these cuts which, if they go unchallenged, will make many of our residents less safe.
“We believe the Mayor’s decision is flawed and will do everything in our power to stop these fire stations from closing, and to stop fire engines from being lost.”
The fire stations due for closure are Woolwich, 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, and Westminster.
The capital would also lose 14 fire engines along with 552 operational posts if the plans, set to come into force on January 9 next year, were to go ahead.