Search

Row over £283,000 fire website upgrade as Romford engine set to be axed

PUBLISHED: 11:23 25 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:23 25 November 2015

The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines - including one from Stratford - to save £11million

The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines - including one from Stratford - to save £11million

Archant

‘All the conversation now is about social media, removing something as important as this is a false economy’ say Tories

London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore has suggested an alternative budget that would save the fire engines but scrap an IT upgrade of the brigade's websiteLondon Assembly Member Andrew Dismore has suggested an alternative budget that would save the fire engines but scrap an IT upgrade of the brigade's website

A row has broken out at City Hall about plans to pay £283,000 to upgrade the London Fire Brigade’s website when 13 fire engines are under threat of being axed to save money.

The brigade wants to scrap one of Romford’s fire engines in a bid to slash £11million from next year’s budget.

It comes under proposals to scrap 13 engines across the capital to balance the books.

But Labour members of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) say implementing alternate fire crewing and ditching a website upgrade should be considered instead of losing pumps, in alternative budget plans.

London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore, Labour chair of the LFEPA resources committee, said: “While a new website would be welcome, this should not be done at the cost of front line cuts.”

But Cllr Maurice Heaster, Conservative committee member, said at a meeting last Thursday: “You’ve suggested taking out a very important bit of IT. All the conversation now is very much about social media and this authority doesn’t really get involved with social media because, frankly, the equipment we’ve got isn’t up to it. I think it’s a false economy to think about removing something as important as this.”

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson has given his backing to the plan to axe 13 engines.

They were taken out of service in August 2013 for use during strike action and the brigade says response targets “can continue to be comfortably met at the London level” without them.

But Havering is already breaching the eight minute target time for a second fire engine to reach a blazes and this would rise further if engines are lost.

The Fire Brigades Union is fiercely opposed to the plans and says further delays “may put lives at risk”.

London Assembly Member Dr Fiona Twycross, Labour committee member, said: “There are other ways to make cuts other than deciding to cut 13 appliances. I think the public would want us to consider this very carefully.”

A decision has been deferred until December 2.

A spokeswoman for the London Fire Brigade said: “It’s unfair to suggest that we are making a decision between keeping a fire engine or updating our website.

“Firstly, updating the website would be a one off payment unlike the year-on-year savings of £13.2 million needed to meet our budget for 2016/17.

“A modern website would form an integral part of our work on fire prevention, education and fire safety regulation for London’s businesses.

“A redevelopment of the site and its functions would allow the brigade to do more, better, for less.

“Currently the brigade website is not mobile-ready when 76 per cent of the UK population use smart phones to access their information.”

Latest Romford News Stories

Rabbit hay was used to hide more than £10million worth of cannabis on a lorry stopped at the Dartford Crossing.

If you’ve had your driving licence revoked because of poor eyesight, then clearly you know you are not safe to be behind the wheel of a car.

Yesterday, 18:00

In his latest column, Prof Ged Martin takes us on a stagecoach journey back through the mists of time

Yesterday, 17:50

This is why emergency services were in Hornchurch this afternoon.

Yesterday, 15:22

An inquest into the death of Harvey, 7, opened today (Friday, September 21).

Yesterday, 15:00

Havering residents are invited to be part of a community event which looks at how working together can prevent crime.

Yesterday, 11:45

An award winning play by the National Theatre has been adapted specifically for children and will be performed in schools in Dagenham and Havering.

Yesterday, 10:00

A college student made it to the final of a prestigious fashion competition at London Fashion Week, showcasing her work on the runway.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now