Kingston fire station will not lose pump in budget cuts

Surrey Comet: Kingston fire station will not lose pump in budget cuts Kingston fire station will not lose pump in budget cuts

Kingston fire station will not be losing one of its engines as feared, it has been announced.

But 12 London stations will close, with seven two-pump stations losing an appliance, as part of plans to cut £65m from London Fire Brigade’s budget.

However, four other stations, including Twickenham, will gain a new engine.

The plans were announced today by London fire commissioner Ron Dobson, who was presenting the draft fifth London safety plan at the service’s headquarters in London.

Mr Dobson said: “Like virtually every other public service, the brigade needs to make savings.

“Additional savings cannot be found without making significant changes to how we keep London safe.

“In the last decade, demand for the brigade’s service has changed dramatically and it’s time to reflect that in how our fire stations, engines and staff are organised.

“With all the work we do to prevent fires happening, and response times that are still amongst the best in the country, I am confident these savings can be made while keeping London safe.”

But Paul Neale, London south west area organiser for the FBU said: “This is devastating, in no uncertain terms.

“I don’t know where to begin. This is going to put the public at risk. It’s going to put firefighters at risk.

“It’s just appalling, and they’re getting away with it.”

Earlier today, London mayor Boris Johnson hinted in a radio interview that firefighters could attend 999 calls in Minis, a practice trialled at the London Olympics.

That proposal did not feature in today’s safety plan, but Mr Neale said: “To be told it looks as if we’re going to have to travel round in Minis is unreal."

The 12 fire stations closing are: Belsize, Bow, Clapham, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, New Cross, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster and Woolwich.

The seven stations losing a fire engine are: Chelsea, Chingford, Hayes, Leyton, Leytonstone, Peckham and Whitechapel .

The four stations gaining a fire engine are: Hendon, Orpington, Stanmore, and Twickenham.

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