London Fire Authority refuse to comply with mayor’s order for a public consultation on station closures


Clapham and Kensington stations were on a leaked list of 12 stations that could face closure.


By Pete Thompson

The London Fire Authority (LFA) stated yesterday that it will not comply with Boris Johnson’s request to hold a public consultation on plans to close 12 fire stations in the capital, including Clapham station and Kensington station.

The two south-west based stations were on a list, leaked late last year, of stations that could face closure.

After a three hour debate, the authority stated it would not hold the consultation on the proposals because it does not agree with any fire station closures.

The plans, outlined in the fifth London safety plan by London fire commissioner Ron Dobson, are backed by Mayor Boris Johnson and aim to save £45m over the next two years.

But the budget cuts could cost 520 jobs and the plans were originally rejected by the authority until Mr Johnson forced them into a consultation with a mayoral directive.

He may now be forced to take legal action to ensure the fire authority follows his order.

“I am mystified why the fire authority has decided to play politics and once again totally disregard the plans proposed by the fire commissioner,” he said

“Delaying this consultation leaves the London Fire Brigade in a precarious position and may now lead to compulsory redundancies for some firefighters, which is entirely irresponsible.”

At the meeting the LFA also discussed other ways to meet the mayor’s budget targets and avoid redundancies.

Fire crews attended half as many fires than a decade ago and deaths by fires have gone down by a third. Mr Johnson says the cuts will not increase fire brigade response times.

However, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) as well as Chelsea and Kensington council have backed the authority in rejecting the plans and urged them to hold their nerve.

FBU regional secretary Paul Embery said: “Authority members did the right thing, and we applaud their stance.

“Hostility to the mayor’s planned cuts is growing by the day. The fire authority, the workforce, the public, the Greater London Assembly and even some Conservative councils have all expressed opposition to the cuts.

“The cuts would mean 4.7 million Londoners across 20 boroughs waiting longer for a fire engine, and that is dangerous and wrong. It’s about time the mayor grasped the nettle and abandoned his reckless plans.”

Photo courtesy of BackBoris2012, with thanks.

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