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Bexley fire stations could feel 'massive' cuts fears union
MASSIVE cuts are coming to the London Fire Brigade Service and Bexley firefighters are worried their services will be in the firing line.
London Mayor Boris Johnson has told London’s fire service it needs to make savings of £64.8m over a two year budget.
The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), which runs London’s stations, has said up to 30 across the capital might have to close to cut spending.
Bexley borough secretary for the Fire Brigade Union, Stephen Rawlinson, 55, told News Shopper: “I am concerned there’s going to be cuts and I am worried that Bexley is going to be one of them.
“It is a massive sum they are cutting and it needs to be made with as little danger to the public as possible.”
Firefighters across London are waiting for papers to be released by the LFEPA on November 15 which will indicate where the cuts can be made.
Bexley has three fire stations and its average response time is already two minutes behind the capital’s target.
But James Cleverly, chairman of the LFEPA, sought to calm fears that the lives of the public could be at risk.
He said: “Nowhere in London will be more than six minutes away on average from a fire station.
“We will be keeping the target time of six minutes.”
“Even in the worst case scenario it’s not going to be as serious as the reports going around are saying.”
He said: “A lot of these stations were built in the Victorian age for horses and carts.
“Some of them are too small to actually store modern equipment.
“We have to cut around £60m in the running budget. But we have a budget of £50m for rebuilding and refurbishing fire stations.”
Mr Johnson told News Shopper: “What I can say is that fire cover in London will remain as good as we can possible make it.
“We will ensure that we continue to make London as ever safer and ever less vulnerable to fire.
“The figures at the moment have been very good, I congratulate London on what they have been doing and safety has got to be out priority.”