London councils challenge service cuts
Seven London councils have joined forces to oppose proposed fire service cuts and station closures.
Proposals which would see 10 fire stations close across London, as well as the loss of 552 firefighter posts and 14 appliances, have been challenged by councils in court. The councils opposing the plans are Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets. They have made an application for judicial review of the decisions by the Mayor of London, London Fire Commissioner and London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to implement the Fifth London Safety Plan earlier this year.
The councils argue that the plan does not take into account fire risk factors in inner London, which is more densely populated, has more deprived and disadvantaged residents who are at greater risk from fire, and where fire responses are often more complex.
They also argue that the plan would have an impact on public safety, that the Equalities Act was breached, and that the consultation process was unlawful.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor of Hackney, said: “We have decided to take this joint action in order to protect the lives of many Londoners, including the most vulnerable members of our community.
“We are doing everything within our power to protect residents from the consequences of this flawed and damaging decision and ensure that stations are kept open and firefighters positions are not lost.”
The hearing is expected to end today.
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