April 18 2014 Latest news:
by Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Hainault Fire Station is one of dozens that could be closed in options for the London Fire Brigade to save millions of pounds.
The government may be cutting the brigade’s budget by up to £50million in January and several options for how to make the saving have been put forward.
No definite proposals are being made until the brigade knows its budget but models for cuts have been calculated considering response times, incident numbers, station locations and available equipment.
Closing Hainault Fire Station, in New North Road, is part of two models for saving £25million and two models for saving £50million.
But it is not under threat in the option preferred by the London Safety Plan discussion forum in October.
Ilford and Woodford station to do not feature in the proposed changes but neither is on the list of “protected” stations that will definitely not be affected.
The report, by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said up to 528 firefighters could be made redundant with a £25million cut and 1,048 at £50million.
The London Fire Brigades’ Union has started an online petition opposing station closures and cuts to services.
Union treasurer Laurence Brightman said the changes could affect response times.
He added: “We would have less fire cover and some areas could lose engines, so when you do the maths there’s going to be a delay in attendance.
“These cuts are very, very dangerous and have no consideration for the safety of firefighters and the general public.”
Mr Brightman said that although there are fewer incidents in London than in previous years, the brigade has to be prepared to deal with any eventuality.
But the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Ron Dobson, insisted he would “not propose anything that would put the lives of Londoners, or firefighters, at risk”.
Any changes to London fire services will be put to a public consultation next year and a decision is expected in the summer.