A PUBLIC meeting takes place next week on the proposed closure of fire stations in Downham and New Cross.

The London Fire Brigade is holding a public meeting at Sydenham School, Dartmouth Road, on May 22 from 7pm.

Included in Draft Fifth London Safety Plan are details of London-wide proposals to make savings worth £28.8m, including closing 12 fire stations, removing 18 fire engines, relocating four fire engines and reducing the number of firefighter posts by 520.

Lib Dem councillors claim that first response times would increase by over a minute in four Lewisham wards: Whitefoot, Telegraph Hill, Downham and Grove Park. 

They say seven wards, including Catford South, Bellingham and Sydenham in addition to those just mentioned, would see average attendance times for a first engine exceed six minutes.

A spokesman for the brigade said: "The proposals currently out for public consultation seek to maintain our London-wide response targets, which as a London-wide fire brigade is how we plan the service we provide.

“The ward level data shows how varied response times are across the capital. As is the case now, over half of all London wards would, on average, continue to get a first response within the six minute target if the proposals are agreed. London would continue to receive a very good service, compared to other emergency services and other parts of the country."

A petition against the Downham closure has been signed by around 4,500 people.

Visit ipetitions.com/petition/save-downham-fire-station to sign up.

To have your say on the conultation visit the website.