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Save Downham Fire Station

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20 June 2013
Save Downham Fire Station The campaign to save Downham Fire Station, which has been earmarked for closure as part of Government's plans to reduce the fire budget by 25%, has continued this week.

Last night I presented a petition, containing the signatures of over 700 local residents opposing the closure, to Parliament. Today I wrote to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to urge him not to use his Mayoral powers to override the views of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and listen to Londoners (full letter below).


Dear Boris 

Proposed Closure of Downham Fire Station 

As I am sure you will be aware, I yesterday submitted to City Hall a copy of the written petition I presented in Parliament last night regarding the proposed closure of Downham Fire Station in my constituency.  I enclose further online signatures which accompany the hard copy version. 

Following my attendance and contribution at the public consultation meeting in Lewisham (and the joint letter sent to you by London MPs on 01 November 2012), you will be aware of my deep concern about the proposal to close Downham Fire Station. Whilst average response times will rise by 31 seconds in the London Borough of Lewisham, the impact of station closures will be most severe in some of the Borough’s most deprived wards. In Downham, there will be a 1 minute 44 second increase in the time it takes for the first fire engine to attend an incident and in Whitefoot the response time is set to increase by 2 minutes and 49 seconds. These are of course average figures and I am very concerned about the additional time that it could take in principle to get an engine to an incident. You will know that fire prevalence is closely linked to levels of deprivation and at no point in this consultation have I seen evidence which proves categorically that death and serious injury will not go up as a result of London having fewer fire stations, fewer fire engines and fewer firemen and women.  

I am further concerned about the resilience of the Fire Service to deal with large scale incidents should these changes go ahead and their ability in future to continue the excellent fire prevention work that has led to recent reductions in the number of fires. 

I would urge you to reconsider your previously stated views about these closures and not to use your Mayoral powers to override the views of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority – and indeed the views of a very significant number of my constituents. 

Yours sincerely 

Heidi Alexander MP 
Member of Parliament for Lewisham East 

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