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Judicial review could leave Havering covered by Thurrock fire services - council leader Cllr Michael White

17:25 14 October 2013

If legal proceedings against the Mayor of London’s fire cuts are successful, Havering could end up covered by fire crews in Thurrock, the leader of the council has stated.

Havering Council has said “no” to the opportunity of seeking a judicial review of the Draft Fifth London Safety Plan – which includes the proposal to axe Hornchurch fire station’s fire rescue unit.

A review is being carried out by other councils over the closure of stations in inner London, led by Islington Council.

“We’ve been asked as a council if we might care to join that judicial review,” council leader Cllr Michael White told Cllr Barbara Matthews (Hacton, Residents’ Association) during members’ questions.

“Up to now, we have not agreed to do that because I believe it won’t benefit Havering.”

He added: “If we look at what the review looks at, it’s things like poverty and those types of things that Havering does particularly badly on when things get divided up – so unless something changes we will not be taking part and we will be fighting our own corner.

Cllr Matthews was unconvinced. “Doesn’t the leader agree that’s led to a great disadvantage?” she said. “We need an FRU in Havering. We’ve got the motorways, the A13 and the A12. We are lucky enough to have plenty of open spaces that contain lakes, and this is where this particular unit is used.”

Cllr White said: “Of course we’re disappointed that we’re losing the FRU, and we always fight hard for our resources.

“But what’s going to happen is there’s going to be a redrawing of the whole boundary if the judicial review [succeeds]. The bigger crisis will come if they start looking at our units.

“Actually, the Havering bit will be covered by the one that’s currently based in Thurrock.”

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