By Alex Taylor and Nicola Bartlett
The future of Islington and Clerkenwell fire stations is in doubt after a leaked government proposal listed them for closure.
Under the plans, a total of 17 stations are to be closed across London. The information emerged hours after London Mayor, Boris Johnson, refused to release the details
at yesterday’s Mayor’s Question Time.
One Clerkenwell firefighter said the changes “could be disastrous” for the safety of local residents.
“We were told nothing about the proposals and are as shocked as the rest of the country.”
The documents also reveal a further four stations would lose a fire engine, whereas nine other areas would gain equipment.
Overall, 17 fire engines would be taken out of action across London and around 600 jobs lost.
Despite the cuts, Boris Johnson told the General London Assembly any potential closures would be “accompanied by no reduction in safety”, with people remaining “as safe as they are at the moment.”
However, Paul Embery, the Fire Brigades Union’s (FBU) regional secretary for London, disputed this.
“If you’re going to close seventeen fire stations it is going to impact on public safety,” he said. “These cuts are dangerous and they’re wrong.”
The Mayor recently told the brigade to save £65 million from their budget over the next two years. Every firefighter in London has been told to consider voluntary redundancy.
For this reason, Mr Embery says the FBU is “looking for support” at this weekend’s Trades Union Congress march, which he claims has “come at the right time.”
The plans are expected to be discussed by the London Fire Authority in November.