Socialist Worker

Campaign grows against London fire station cuts

by Yusuf Timms, South West Area Secretary, FBU, London Region
Issue No. 2351

The campaign to stop the closure of 12 London fire stations continued this week. 

The FBU union organised public meetings around a number of the stations under threat. 

In the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, up to 70 residents voiced their opposition to the cuts at a meeting last week. The borough stands to lose one station and a further fire engine.

Among the speakers at the meeting was Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU. Wrack talked about attendance times and the numbers of fire engines needed to successfully resolve an incident. 

In firefighters’ jargon this is referred to as the speed and weight of attack. 

Our ability to bring the necessary number of engines to an incident is just as important as the time it takes for the first engine to arrive. The cuts will adversely affect both.

The public consultation period in London lasts until 17 June. Anyone who lives in London can access the consultation and register their opposition to the cuts through the LFB website. 

As well as local meetings being organised by the FBU, the Fire Authority has organised public meetings in every London borough. This is part of the official consultation.

We need to turn these meetings into focal points of opposition. A march is already being planned down to the Lambeth meeting on 16 May. 

The proposed closures represent the biggest attack on the London Fire Brigade since the blitz. 

It is the largest attack on any fire service in the country and, if successful, will pave the way for further cuts regionally and nationally. 

We would urge Socialist Worker readers in London to attend these meetings and get involved in the campaigns around the stations that are under threat.

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Article information

Tue 30 Apr 2013, 16:34 BST
Issue No. 2351
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