Letter for publication – Still time to have your say over the future of Fire Service
The London Fire Brigade is consulting over changes to the fire service to meet £13.2 million of budget cuts demanded by the Mayor – but the consultation is about to close, on 1st February. With frontline services at stake, it’s hugely important that local people are given the opportunity to make their views known, so if you haven’t responded I would urge you to do so.
The consultation is available on line and you can give your views very easily through the Fire Brigade website: https://app.citizenspace.com/london-fire/operational-changes-for-budget-2016-17/consultation/intro/view
You can choose from two options: ‘option B’, which will see the permanent removal of 13 fire engines; and ‘option A’ which focuses on back office efficiencies and crewing arrangements, allowing the 13 engines to be retained.
I believe cutting more fire engines would exacerbate the recent rise in response times across the capital. 16 wards in Camden and 5 in Barnet saw a rise in response times in 2014/15 when compared with the previous year, as a result of Boris Johnson’s then closure of 10 fire stations and scrapping of 14 engines.
However, Option A, the alternative plan which I have developed as Chair of the Fire Authority’s Resource Committee, would meet the savings target and balance the books through back office efficiencies and changing working patterns, enabling the 13 engines to be kept.
I would urge you to complete the simple survey on line before the consultation closes on 1st February to ensure your voice is heard.
Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden