London residents march against fire station closure plans

image captionProtesters marched from Oriel Place to Belsize Park fire station

Hundreds of north London residents have marched against plans to close their local fire station, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) plans to close 12 fire stations remove 18 fire engines, and make 500 job cuts.

The FBU said "lives will be put at risk" as a result of the changes.

But, LFB said it would "maintain response times" and "a public consultation meeting will be held in Camden next week."

Protesters marched from Oriel Place to Belsize Park fire station, one of 12 London fire stations threatened with closure.

Communities 'in danger'

FBU London region official Ben Sprung said: "This community and other London communities will be put in danger and lives will be put at risk if these cuts go ahead.

"The residents were out in force to support the FBU today."

LFB said its plans to close fire stations were in response to budget savings required by the government and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "Compared to 10 years ago, the brigade attends half as many fires, a third fewer house fires and almost a third fewer incidents overall.

"But there is always more to be done. In the future, the resources available to the brigade will reduce and the number of people who can work for the brigade and provide our services will also reduce.

"We have passed the point where we can make the necessary level of savings without any impact on our fire stations."

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