Lib Dems add voices to concerns over fire brigade cuts in Waltham Forest

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Campaigners outside Leytonstone Fire Station. (EL34642) Campaigners outside Leytonstone Fire Station. (EL34642)

The Liberal Democrats in Waltham Forest have added their voices to concerns about plans to cut the number of fire engines in the borough.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has proposed reducing the number of vehicles based at Chingford, Leyton and Leytonstone fire stations from two to one as part of measures to save £28.8million.

Last month Leyton Labour MP John Cryer launched a campaign against the plans, calling them "reckless in the extreme".

Now the Lib Dem group have joined in and started their own petition, claiming the measures are short-sighted when the borough's population is rising.

The LFB insists that response times to call-outs will not be affected by the cuts and said it is confident safety will not be compromised. 

It also says the number of incidents it is called to in London has dropped by nearly a third in ten years.

But Walthamstow Lib Dem Cllr Mahmood Hussain said: “Fewer engines will mean there are fewer and less mobile fire fighters protecting our borough.

“These cuts are short-sighted. The number of fire engine mobilisations in the borough increased from 5,449 in 2005/06 to 5,607 between 2011 and 2012.

"The population of the borough is still growing, which means more people and more houses to protect.”

Cllr Hussain added that he hoped the Conservatives would also oppose the plans.

Ron Dobson, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, previously said the cuts, which also include the proposed closure of 12 fire stations elsewhere in London, would not affect safety.

He said: "Additional savings cannot be found without making significant changes to how we keep London safe...

"I have every intention of maintaining our current response time targets for first and second fire engines.

"With all the work we do to prevent fires happening, and response times that are still amongst the best in the country, I am confident these savings can be made while keeping London safe.”

A public consultation is currently being held into the proposals and a final decision is expected to be made by the LFB in June.

Visit http://www.london.gov.uk/LFEPA/mgAi.aspx?ID=1016#mgDocuments for more information.

The Lib Dem's petition can be accessed at http://eepurl.com/uZtFb

Comments (10)

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5:58pm Fri 8 Feb 13

tillytrotter says...

Please can the Lib Dems answer if the LFB are cut will the council tax be reduced as well ? because of lack of response ? We as residents pay for this service as I understand. STELLA CREASY is our MP ( labour) that squats in the HP let her argue this one its a complete sham. So in the mean time as of April our council tax will be cut in the interrim hahahahhaha
Please can the Lib Dems answer if the LFB are cut will the council tax be reduced as well ? because of lack of response ? We as residents pay for this service as I understand. STELLA CREASY is our MP ( labour) that squats in the HP let her argue this one its a complete sham. So in the mean time as of April our council tax will be cut in the interrim hahahahhaha tillytrotter

5:59pm Fri 8 Feb 13

tillytrotter says...

Please can the Lib Dems answer if the LFB are cut will the council tax be reduced as well ? because of lack of response ? We as residents pay for this service as I understand. STELLA CREASY is our MP ( labour) that squats in the HP let her argue this one its a complete sham. So in the mean time as of April our council tax will be cut in the interrim hahahahhaha
Please can the Lib Dems answer if the LFB are cut will the council tax be reduced as well ? because of lack of response ? We as residents pay for this service as I understand. STELLA CREASY is our MP ( labour) that squats in the HP let her argue this one its a complete sham. So in the mean time as of April our council tax will be cut in the interrim hahahahhaha tillytrotter

6:01pm Fri 8 Feb 13

tillytrotter says...

Also why was XXX amount spent modernising Forest Road Fire Station when there are no vehicles to respond to save lives. What was wrong with the old one ??
Also why was XXX amount spent modernising Forest Road Fire Station when there are no vehicles to respond to save lives. What was wrong with the old one ?? tillytrotter

6:13pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

Prescott wasted 350 million of public money building 9 control centres which have remained idle and cost 5 million a month to keep empty.

Firemen are employed to sleep on duty and given beds to do so and sit around eating all day, have second Jobs and are paid too much.

This is where all the waste is going.

Go to any Golf Club around 8am and you will see Firemen Parking up their Black cabs after a Night Shift nice and refreshed for a round of Golf before their next shift.
Prescott wasted 350 million of public money building 9 control centres which have remained idle and cost 5 million a month to keep empty. Firemen are employed to sleep on duty and given beds to do so and sit around eating all day, have second Jobs and are paid too much. This is where all the waste is going. Go to any Golf Club around 8am and you will see Firemen Parking up their Black cabs after a Night Shift nice and refreshed for a round of Golf before their next shift. Cornbeefur

7:21pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Techno3 says...

In many other countries the fire brigades do other useful things like driving ambulances when there isn't a fire. Why don't they do that here?
In many other countries the fire brigades do other useful things like driving ambulances when there isn't a fire. Why don't they do that here? Techno3

7:38pm Fri 8 Feb 13

The Stowaway says...

The last time I had some tiles blown down, I rang a local roofing company who duly arrived in their fire engine at 8pm on Sunday evening to inspect what materials they would need for the job next morning. I sincerely hope these cuts won't put pay to this excellent service.
The last time I had some tiles blown down, I rang a local roofing company who duly arrived in their fire engine at 8pm on Sunday evening to inspect what materials they would need for the job next morning. I sincerely hope these cuts won't put pay to this excellent service. The Stowaway

11:32pm Fri 8 Feb 13

mdj says...

' The LFB insists that response times to call-outs will not be affected by the cuts...
It also says the number of incidents it is called to in London has dropped by nearly a third in ten years.'

If this is so, they must be arguing that the service has been overstaffed for years, but that only a swinging budget cut has made them take action.
Is that really what they want us to believe?
' The LFB insists that response times to call-outs will not be affected by the cuts... It also says the number of incidents it is called to in London has dropped by nearly a third in ten years.' If this is so, they must be arguing that the service has been overstaffed for years, but that only a swinging budget cut has made them take action. Is that really what they want us to believe? mdj

10:26am Sat 9 Feb 13

Robert19 says...

I could say that Waltham Forest burns while our posters scribble (well use their keyboard). Most of you are missing the point. There will be a reduction in fire engines because of the Coalition Government's decision to cut public services across the board. There will not be a subsequent cut in our Council Tax because the money being cut is from central government on the whole.
If people have evidence about moonlighting firefighters they have a duty to inform the LFB. On the other hand this is a dangerous and difficult job where firefighters can die trying to save people. I for one would not want to enter a burning building looking for trapped children (or indeed find a body).
This issue is the same as A and E closures and reduction of ambulances in the health service and closing police stations. Is this what you want? It is what we are getting.
I could say that Waltham Forest burns while our posters scribble (well use their keyboard). Most of you are missing the point. There will be a reduction in fire engines because of the Coalition Government's decision to cut public services across the board. There will not be a subsequent cut in our Council Tax because the money being cut is from central government on the whole. If people have evidence about moonlighting firefighters they have a duty to inform the LFB. On the other hand this is a dangerous and difficult job where firefighters can die trying to save people. I for one would not want to enter a burning building looking for trapped children (or indeed find a body). This issue is the same as A and E closures and reduction of ambulances in the health service and closing police stations. Is this what you want? It is what we are getting. Robert19

8:03am Mon 11 Feb 13

leyton_man says...

Waltham forest has been earmarked for quite a drop in police/fire services, more so than say Chelsea/Westminster, I wonder if it is because they are safe seats, if you're not going to win in an area anyway it could be likely to focus cuts there.
Something to think about next time you're at the polling booth.
Waltham forest has been earmarked for quite a drop in police/fire services, more so than say Chelsea/Westminster, I wonder if it is because they are safe seats, if you're not going to win in an area anyway it could be likely to focus cuts there. Something to think about next time you're at the polling booth. leyton_man

10:50pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Sam Hain says...

Well, we can all sleep sound in our beds knowing that the Lib Dems are on the case. Remind me again, who is the Tory party in coalition with in Government?
Well, we can all sleep sound in our beds knowing that the Lib Dems are on the case. Remind me again, who is the Tory party in coalition with in Government? Sam Hain

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