22 January 2013
Hundreds of firefighters joined an angry protest lobby of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority on Monday 22 January.
The protest was called by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in response to the announcement of the closure of 12 fire stations: Belsize, Bow, Clapham, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, New Cross, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster and Woolwich.
Proposed cuts also include the removal of the second fire engine from 7 fire stations at: Chelsea, Chingford, Hayes, Leyton, Leytonstone, Peckham and Whitechapel.
Boris Johnson intends to override LFEPA decision
Hours after the protest, the FBU were celebrating a result as the vote on the authority fell. The cuts proposals were defeated narrowly by 8-9. But the fight is far from over—London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has announced that he intends to drive through the cuts and override the London Fire Authority decision.
FBU General Secretary, Matt Wrack, launched a campaign to stop the cuts including possible industrial action and called on Londoners to organise to save their local fire stations including station occupations if it comes to it. He also said that industrial action could not be ruled out as part of the campaign. 520 jobs are threatened if the cuts go ahead.
A number of speakers spoke about the Vauxhall helicopter crash in which 2 people tragically died. The fire was attended by engines from the Clapham station which is threatened with closure. These cuts must be stopped.
It’s time to rally round our firefighters and get behind the FBU’s campaign to save the fire stations!