Mayor John Biggs has welcomed the news that Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has launched a review into the cuts made to London’s Fire Brigade under Boris Johnson. Led by Anthony Mayer, the review will consider if the Fire Brigade has enough resources to keep Londoners safe.
Since 2009, London’s Fire Service has seen its funding cut by more than £150m, with 10 fire stations closed, 27 fire engines axed and over 500 firefighters scrapped. Before leaving office, Boris Johnson set the Brigade’s current budget, cutting a further £22m over the next three years. As part of Boris Johnson’s cuts Bow fire station in Tower Hamlets was closed in January 2014 with a fire engine withdrawn from service at Whitechapel at the same time. Two more additional Tower Hamlets fire engines were permanently axed 6 months ago as Boris Johnson prepared to leave office.
Mayor Biggs made his comments after the official re-opening of Shadwell Fire Station on Wednesday 7th September. The re-opening was officiated by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and attended by the Deputy Mayor of London Joanne McCartney AM.
Mayor John Biggs said:
“It’s a real pleasure to see Shadwell fire station reopening today with a new state of the art facility. In a borough growing as fast as Tower Hamlets, it’s vital we have the emergency services we need to keep residents safe. Boris Johnson’s legacy was to close Bow fire station and axe three fire engines at stations across the rest of the borough.
“I’m glad to hear that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a review of Boris Johnson’s cuts to our fire service. Cutting the number of fire engines and firefighters only increases the response time of our local fire services, putting lives at risk.
“We need to be sure that the fire service in our borough has the resources it needs.”