Today’s permanent closure of Bow fire station as a result of Boris Johnson’s budget cuts was marked by A protest by residents and Labour councillors. Alongside London Assembly Member John Biggs, local MP Rushanara Ali and Unison trade union campaigners the politicians expressed their anger at the Mayor of London’s decision stating that the closure “will put lives at risk”. They also thanked local firefighters for their service in keeping Bow safe over the years.
Boris Johnson ordered the station closed along with nine other London fire stations in order to fund a politically motivated cut of one pence a day to council tax bills. He took the step even though official figures suggest that the closure will increase first engine response times in Bow by over 3 minutes to almost 7 ½ minutes, with a second fire engine taking over 9 minutes to arrive at incidents in Bow East.
Labour councillor for Bow West, Cllr Joshua Peck, said:
“Boris Johnson wanted today’s closure to be as quiet as possible, in the hope that people will have forgotten by the time he’s next up for re-election. Nobody in our community supports his choice to close our fire station and we weren’t going to let it go quietly. From today the time it takes to respond to fires will increase to almost 7 ½ minutes putting many more lives at risk.”
Labour London Assembly Member and Candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:
“This is seriously bad news and life will be less safe as a result. Our borough needs adequate public services and this was a perverse and foolish decision.”