No Consultation Over Fire Station Closures
Monday 11th February 2013
The London Fire Authority has voted not to allow a consultation on Boris Johnson's plans to close 12 fire stations across the capital.
Emergency talks were held today over the closures and more then 500 job losses at the London Fire Brigade.
The Mayor of London says the changes are necessary to tackle a budget gap - £45 million needs to be saved - but members of the London Fire Authority are blocking the move.
If the proposals go ahead almost ten percent of LFB staff will lose their jobs: around 400 firefighters and 100 other staff.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson has said that he hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies.
He's claimed that fire incidents in London are down by a third in the past decade and that fire appliances are only used 7% of the time.
Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack said thousands of firefighters' jobs were under threat across the country with the possible closure of up to 70 fire stations because of spending cuts.
"These are horrific attacks on the London fire brigade and are part of a wider onslaught against the fire service as a result of the Government's austerity measures. We will fight these cuts every step of the way."
Today the authority voted narrowly not to comply with Boris Johnson's request that it should hold a public consultation on the proposals.
The Mayor now faces the prospect of having to take legal action to try and force a consultation.