Fire enginesLondon Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has approved the Brigade's budget for 2016/17, closing a budget gap of £11.5 million.

The decision will mean the permanent removal of  13 fire engines, which have been out of service for the past two and a half years, and see some of the savings reinvested into increasing the number of staff available to crew fire rescue units.

The approved budget also includes a one off investment in fire prevention equipment for the homes of the most vulnerable, such as sprinklers, telecare systems and flame retardant bedding, and a payment into the Local Government Pension Scheme to reduce future budget pressures on the Brigade. 

The 13 fire stations were Chelsea, Ealing, Erith, Forest Hill, Holloway, Old Kent Road, Plaistow, Poplar, Romford, Shoreditch, Stratford, Wandsworth, and Willesden.

On 1 March 2016, the Mayor issued a Direction to the Authority instructing it to adopt the budget option put forward by the London Fire Commissioner. That budget was agreed this week.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "The 13 fire engines have been out of service for over two and a half years, but we have continued to achieve our response time targets of on average six minutes for a first fire engine and eight minutes for a second to attend incidents."