Revealed: another Camden fire engine faces Boris Johnson’s axe

Proposals from the Fire Brigade Commissioner to scrap 13 London Fire Engines faced fierce opposition yesterday when they were debated at a Resources Committee meeting of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). Labour London Assembly Member and Chair of the Resources Committee spoke out after the meeting when it was revealed that despite fully costed alternatives which would protect front line services, the Commissioner was proposing more cuts which could see Camden lose another one of its fire engines.

At the meeting LFEPA members received proposals from the Commissioner which included scrapping 13 more fire engines from London’s fleet. The proposals are part of the Fire Commissioner’s plans to deal with the £13.2 million Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson is cutting from the Fire Brigade  budget next year.

In preparation for a decision to axe the 13 fire engines, supported by the Conservative members of the Authority, the Fire Commissioner prepared two lists of stations from which the 13 fire engines could be taken including West Hampstead. 13 engines have already been temporarily withdrawn from service but the Fire Brigade has yet to confirm whether these would be the same 13 which would be eventually axed if the cuts go ahead. The Commissioner has also created a list identifying the optimum stations from which to axe the 13 engines.

Alternative proposals put forward by Labour Chair of the Fire Authority’s Resources Committee Andrew Dismore AM would see the 13 fire engines returned to their base stations along with a range of back office efficiencies and further re-prioritisations to meet the budget gap. The proposals also include extending alternate crewing arrangements for some of the special appliances which are called out far less frequently than regular fire engines.

In January 2014 the Mayor forced through the closure of 10 London fire stations and axed 14 fire engines, including closing Belsize and Clerkenwell  Fire Stations in Camden. Subsequently response times across the capital rose.

Commenting on the Conservatives’ scheme  to scrap 13 further London fire engines, Labour London Assembly Member  Andrew Dismore AM, said:

“The Mayor has already axed 14 fire engines and closed 10 London fire stations, Including Belsize and Clerkenwell  in Camden. The predictable result was that the time it takes fire engines to reach incidents and the risk to life increased.

“There is little doubt that the Mayor’s plan to axe another 13 fire engines could have dire consequences for Londoners and would put lives at risk as it could mean Camden losing yet another fire engine from a very busy station, as recent fires in Camden have demonstrated.

“Londoners need to know that my clear and costed alternatives would protect the frontline and the Mayor must seriously consider them  if he wants to protect the safety of the capital.

“With Boris Johnson’s  pledge to protect the frontline already in tatters, the fear is that he will have no conscience about  breaking it further to axe yet more vital resources.”



* The two lists of options for removing 13 fire engines from London stations, provided by the London Fire Brigade, are

13 fire stations with pumps currently removed Optimum 13 fire stations from which to remove pumps
Erith   LB Bexley West Hampstead   LB Camden
Willesden   LB Brent Norbury   LB Croydon
Ealing   LB Ealing Ealing   LB Ealing
Shoreditch   LB Hackney East Greenwich   LB Greenwich
Romford   LB Havering Shoreditch   LB Hackney
Holloway   LB Islington Hammersmith   LB Hammersmith
Chelsea   LB Kensington and Chelsea Romford   LB Havering
Forest Hill   LB Lewisham Forest Hill   LB Lewisham
Plaistow   LB Newham Stratford   LB Newham
Stratford   LB Newham Old Kent Road   LB Southwark
Old Kent Road   LB Southwark Wandsworth   LB Wansdworth
Poplar   LB Tower Hamlets Sidcup LB Bexley
Wandsworth   LB Wandsworth Hornsey  LB Haringey