Labour councillors continued their campaign against the Mayor of London’s cuts to fire services in the borough this weekend by hosting a public meeting in Whitechapel, where the number of fire engines is due to be halved.
Labour councillors were joined by London Assembly Member John Biggs and Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali as well as the Chair of London Region FBU, Gordon Fielden. Over 50 residents, firefighters and activists turned up to the rally to express their opposition to the proposed.
The meeting, held on Saturday 25th May, was due to be held in Berner Community Centre on Ponlar Street but at the last moment the councillors and residents were told that they couldn’t use the Council run venue. The meeting was instead held outside the Community Centre in the glorious bank holiday weekend sunshine.
Labour’s Spokesperson for a Safer Borough, Cllr Mizanur Chaudhury, said:
“Boris Johnson’s cuts to Whitechapel fire station will mean that there is only one fire engine on hand to protect local residents. The plans will increase response times and put lives at risk. The Conservative Mayor of London should listen to residents and put a stop to these cuts before it is too late.
“Today’s rally has been a really strong reminder of the strength of feeling there is over this issue. Quite why we weren’t allowed to use the Community Centre is unclear but it was great to see so many local residents joining in solidarity with their local fire fighters.”
Labour London Assembly Member, John Biggs AM, said:
“These cuts are unnecessary and will leave residents vulnerable. While we all hope to never need a fire engine, when we do we need it to come quickly, and for there to be enough of them to deal with the worst emergencies. With the current levels of house building, and tall buildings, we must fight these cuts.”