London Fire Brigade warns of 800 job losses for savings target

The Mayor of London has told the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority it needs to save £65 million over the next two years

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London Fire Brigade (LFB) is considering cutting hundreds of firefighter posts as it seeks to save more than £65 million from its budget.

It has produced various plans, one of which would see a quarter of the capital's fire stations closing and 800 firefighters losing their jobs.

The Fire Brigades Union said if it was felt cutbacks were jeopardising safety, union members would be mobilised.

LFB said no decisions have been made yet.

In an internal staff newsletter, LFB has produced examples of how it might make the savings required by the Mayor of London over the next two years.

One scenario outlines 840 posts, 30 fire stations and 30 fire engines being cut, to save £45 million.

'Public safety impact'

In the September newsletter, Shout, it says "Given the amount we need to save, it would not be possible to achieve all of these savings from 'back office' functions".

It says the highest proportion of the budget is spent on operational staff and decisions will need to be made considering "the backdrop of falling numbers of fires".

LFB said the scenarios have been produced with a computer model using attendance data.

Paul Embery of the Fire Brigades Union, said: "We'll await the brigade's proposals bit it's difficult to see how they can achieve the level of cuts they're looking at - £65m over two years - without impacting seriously on public safety and without there being a diminution in fire cover throughout London."

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: "Like virtually every other public service, the brigade is facing the need to make savings.

"The mayor has given a target for these savings, and we are currently considering our response to this.

"All options are being considered but no decisions have yet been made."

The Mayor of London's office said Boris Johnson would wait for firm proposals to be presented to him before commenting.

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