Seventeen London fire stations earmarked to close

The London Fire Brigade is looking to save £65m

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Seventeen fire stations in London have been earmarked for closure, in a move which would see the loss of more than 600 jobs.

A list of the threatened stations was shown to the BBC, although Mayor Boris Johnson said no list had been drawn up.

The Fire Brigades Union called it the "biggest threat since the days of the Luftwaffe", but Mr Johnson said people would not be put at risk.

London Fire Brigade is looking to save £65m over the next two years.

Mr Johnson told the London Assembly any closures would be "accompanied by no reduction in safety" and people would be "as protected from fire as they are at the moment".

He added the number of fires in London had fallen by half over the past decade and fatalities had been cut by a third.

'Antiquated' stations
Paul Embery The Fire Brigades Union says the cuts are "unworkable"

Paul Embery, the Fire Brigades Union's regional secretary for London, said: "We think this is potentially the biggest threat that the London Fire Brigade is facing since the days of the Luftwaffe.

"The cuts of the kind being proposed are likely to lead to the decimation of the fire service in London.

"We think it's time that the commissioner and the politicians who run the London Fire Brigade stand up to Boris Johnson and say these cuts are unworkable."

James Cleverly, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said the service had inherited some "quite antiquated" stations.

  • There are 113 fire stations in London, including Lambeth river station
  • So far this year, there have been 30 deaths in fires in the city
  • London Fire Brigade (LFB) says fire deaths have "dropped consistently" in the past 10 years, from 81 in 2001 to 56 in 2011
  • Brigade figures state the number of fires in the city fell to 26,845 last year or around 74 each day, the lowest point since records began in 1966

He said: "What we're looking to do, as part of our budget saving process, is go to a slightly smaller number of on average larger and more modern fire stations, and that will enable us to maintain our attendance times and keep Londoners safe."

The stations listed in the leaked document as earmarked for closure are: Acton, Belsize, Bow, Clapham, Clerkenwell, Downham, Islington, Kensington, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, New Cross, Peckham, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster, Whitechapel and Woolwich.

The plans are expected to be discussed by the London fire authority in November.

On Tuesday, it was revealed London firefighters had been asked to consider accepting redundancy.

Civilian staff also received letters which offered an additional £10,000 if they leave.

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