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Save Downham Fire Station

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02 November 2012
Save Downham Fire Station If you have been following the news recently, you will have seen that London’s fire service is under threat of drastic cuts in the coming years. A significant number of fire stations have been earmarked for closure, including Downham in South East London.

The Government is reducing the fire budget by 25% – the biggest shake-up to the service since it was created 146 years ago. £65million has to be found from the fire and rescue budget and proposals have emerged which would see 17 fire stations, 17 fire appliances and over 600 fire-fighters lost across the capital.

It is shocking to me that cuts of this magnitude are even being considered, when there are 18 residential fires alone in London each day and over 100 London schools reported fires last year. I believe these proposals would seriously impact on the speed which crews are able to attend fires, and would also dramatically reduce the ability of the fire service to engage in vital community safety and fire prevention work.

Whilst I appreciate that some savings have to be made, the scale of the proposed cuts in London goes beyond what is sensible. Public safety must be the priority and I am concerned that these front-line cuts could put people’s lives, homes and businesses in jeopardy.

This week I, along with Labour Party colleagues in the House of Commons, hand-delivered a letter to Boris Johnson at City Hall calling on the Mayor to re-think his proposed cuts. It’s imperative that the Mayor listens to the concerns of Londoners and changes course on this issue.

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