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Closure of New Cross, Downham, Woolwich fire stations consultation launched
CAMPAIGNERS dismayed at potential fire station closures have vowed to continue fighting after the launch of a consultation on the issue.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson's cost-cutting plan includes closing Woolwich, Downham and New Cross stations, along with the loss of 520 firefighters across the capital.
The plans - which would save £29m - have already been opposed by the Fire Brigades' Union (FBU) while the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) only agreed to hold a consultation when the mayor threatened legal action.
Lewisham Liberal Democrats have been campaigning against the closure of Downham's facility, while Labour's Councillor Janet Daby said the issue would be a hot item when Mr Johnson's visit Catford on Thursday night (March 7).
She said: "Closing Downham fire station will lengthen fire service arrival times in the area, especially during rush hour, and will place the community at unacceptable risk.
"The local community is standing together with the Fire Brigade union to oppose these cuts."
London Assembly Member for the area Len Duvall said: "It is vital that residents take part in this consultation about the proposal to close Woolwich fire station in Greenwich and make sure that their voice is heard.
"We believe that the mayor is cutting too far, too fast and is hitting the frontline."
FBU regional secretary Paul Embery said: "These cuts represent the biggest threat to the ability of the London Fire Brigade to function since the days of the Blitz. It is incumbent on all of us to do what we can to fight them."
Chairman of the LFEPA James Cleverly said: "The plan outlines a range of proposals that together will ensure London Fire Brigade provides the public with the best fire and rescue service in the country while also playing its part in helping balance the nation’s finances."
The consultation runs for 12 weeks. Visit london-fire.gov.uk/lsp5, call 0800 9888 569, or write to the London Fire Brigade at 169 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL.