Fire brigade statistics blow hole in Mayor’s case for fire cuts

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The London Fire Brigade have released details of increased response times for local wards in London. The statistics reveal that 41 local wards in London will now fall outside of the target response time, due to the Mayor’s decision to cut 12 fire stations, 18 fire engines and 520 firefighters. The wards include Bow East, Bow West, Bromley-by-Bow and Mile End East in Tower Hamlets.

The information was quietly released onto the London Fire Brigade’s website late yesterday (Tuesday). So far 11 boroughs have had their formal consultation meetings with the Fire Brigade, despite the fact they were not provided with these detailed figures which for the first time reveal the full impact of the Mayor’s cuts.

The details show that residents in an additional 41 wards in London will fall outside of the target response time of six minutes for the first fire engine. This is on top of the 267 already falling outside the target.

Local London Assembly Member John Biggs said:

“These figures clearly show that the Mayor has been misleading Londoners, his cuts will mean that people across our city will have to wait significantly longer for a fire engine to arrive in the event of an emergency. In Bow East the increase is from 4.09 to 7.20 minutes, Bow West will increase from 4.41 to 6.39 minutes, Bromley-by-Bow from 5.45 to 6.45 minutes and  in Mile End East increases from 5.26  minutes to 6.18 minutes. Some of these figures not sound a lot but a fire can quadruple in intensity every two minutes. These increases are truly scandalous, no wonder they didn’t release this information sooner. This completely blows a hole in the Mayor’s plans for fire cuts, he must abandon them now and adopt our fully costed plan to keep them all open.

“This shows how flawed the Mayor’s Draft Fire Plan is, the borough response times in the plan hide these local increases, which are disgraceful. The Mayor’s plans to cut 12 fire stations, 18 fire engines and 520 firefighters are unacceptable. We presented him with a fully costed plan to keep them all, instead he has chosen to cut council tax by one penny a day. While a small amount to individual Londoners, across our city this adds up and will lead to a huge cut in our valued fire service. It is more urgent than ever that Londoners respond to the Mayor’s consultation and tell him what they think. Boris must take Londoners for complete fools if he thinks he can get away with this.”

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