“Havering’s fire stations at risk of closure” says London Assembly Member Tom Copley

Havering’s fire stations could be at risk of closure as part of �35 million cuts by the London Assembly Fire Authority.

London Assembly Member Tom Copley says that lives would be put at risk if one of the borough’s four stations was forced to close.

He said: “If we lost a fire station in Havering, then the fire appliances would have further to travel and that will have an impact on response times, particularly if there are casualties.”

The cuts, which will see the government slashing the fire budget by 25 per cent, were revealed at the London Assembly’s Fire Authority question and answer session on Wednesday September 12.

The cost of operating a fire station with one fire appliance is �1.4million per year, this means that 15, of the 112 fire stations in London could be forced to close,

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A further 25 may also have to be shut next year.

Tom believes that one of Havering’s older fire stations could be affected after the opening of Harold Hill fire station in 2010.

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He said: “It’s unclear whether Havering will be affected but with so many stations at risk and four stations in the borough, I fear that we will be hit.

“The news confirms our worst fears, in total up to 40 fire stations are at risk of closure in the next two years, along with their fire appliances.

“If we lose such a large chunk of our existing fire cover it will impact on public safety.”

Harold Hill fire station became London’s first new fire station in over a decade when it opened in February 2010.

It was built to improve attendance times of firefighters responding to emergencies in the north east area of Havering.

A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade said:“It’s no secret that the London Fire Brigade is going to have to make very significant savings over the next two years.

“There is no list of fire stations facing closure or the withdrawal of a fire engine.

“No decisions have yet been taken and before they are, there will be a public consultation so people can have their say.”

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