Dagenham fire station 180Dagenham's fire crews have begun operating from their new state-of-the-art fire station ahead of a week in which the London Fire Authority will find out the results of their public budget consultation.

The brand new building replaces the old station and LFB say it will provide firefighters with "modern facilities that meet the demands of a 21st century fire and rescue service" while remaining at its existing Rainham Road North site.

The construction project was part of the Brigade's on-going Private Finance Initiative (PFI) programme that will eventually see nine of London's fire stations coming to the end of their life-span replaced by brand new buildings.

Barking and Dagenham Borough Commander Steve Norman, said: "This brand new fire station is good news for our firefighters and good news for the local community. The previous station had served the community well for many years but was coming to the end of its working life and no longer met the demands of a modern fire and rescue service. This fantastic new station provides us with facilities fit for the 21st century and reinforces our commitment to providing the best possible fire service to the people of Barking and Dagenham and to London as a whole.”

Dagenham is the first fire station in the second phase of the rebuilding programme to be completed, with Dockhead, Leytonstone, Purley and Shadwell stations also set to be revamped in the next 12 months.Stations completed in the first phase of the programme and which are now operating are Mitcham, Old Kent Road, Plaistow and Orpington.

Alongside the PFI programme, the Brigade is hosting a public consultation on how it can make £6.4m of budget savings for 2016/17.

The consultation closes at 5pm on 1 February and has two options centred around the 13 fire engines that have been out of service for two years as part of Brigade’s strike contingency arrangements.

Option A is the proposal preferred by the majority of members of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. It recommends putting the 13 fire engines back into service but making savings by establishing alternate crewing at stations with some special appliances.

Option B is recommended by the Commissioner of London Fire Brigade. It recommends the permanent removal of the 13 fire engines and reinvest some of the savings into increasing the number of staff available to crew fire rescue units.

Chairman of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority Gareth Bacon AM said: "Don’t miss out on the chance to have your say on our budget proposals and how the authority can save £6.4m.Over the past eight weeks we’ve held public meetings and talked to a number of stakeholders but in order to have your voice heard then fill out our consultation questionnaire."

If you live in London, you can have your say by visiting: http://bit.ly/lfepa-have-your-say