Wandsworth fire station under threat despite increased demand in bid to save millions of pounds

Wandsworth fire station could be reduced to one engine as part of a bid to save millions of pounds by the end of 2017.

A public consultation, which comprised of four meetings across London throughout January, came to a close yesterday and two proposals were put forward by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

The first proposal would see the 13 engines that were taken out of service two and a half years ago reinstated, but money would be saved by establishing alternate crewing stations, while the second would permanently remove the 13 engines.

“Our existence of an emergency service is to get there as quickly as possible,” said Greg Edwards of London Fire Union.

“We know that by getting this cut, we cannot do that.”

London fire commissioner, Ron Dobson, is in favour of making the second proposal permanent which would see Wandsworth fire station reduced to one engine despite an increased demand for its service.

In Wandsworth Common the number of fires doubled last year from 17 to 35, and Mr Dobson said London’s fire service still performs well despite cut-backs.

Speaking at a consultation meeting, Mr Dobson said: “The number of fire deaths continues to go down.

“One of the things people were worried about ten years ago was we were not able to do proactive meetings like educating the public and we have carried out more than  in any other year.

“We know the impact of these changes.”

LFEPA will now put forward a recommendation to the Mayor of London who will make the final decision.

Picture courtesy of Martin Addison, with thanks

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