Waltham Forest set to lose three fire engines in cuts (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Waltham Forest set to lose three fire engines in cuts
The London Fire Brigade has announced it intends to axe three of Waltham Forest's fire engines as part of proposed cuts.
The news today confirms the accuracy of a leaked memo obtained by the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) in October, which claimed that bosses wanted to get rid of one engine at Leyton, Leytonstone and Chingford stations.
All the stations currently haves two engines each.
The brigade says it must make £28.8million worth of savings in two years and insist that the average response time of the first two engines dispatched to a fire will not be affected by a reduction in numbers.
It says the number of incidents it is called to has dropped by nearly a third in ten years.
Leyton MP John Cryer previously described the proposals as "reckless in the extreme".
Ron Dobson, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said in a statement: “Like virtually every other public service, the Brigade needs to make savings.
"In the last four years, we have cut £52m without reducing frontline services.
"Additional savings cannot be found without making significant changes to how we keep London safe.
"In the last decade, demand for the Brigade’s service has changed dramatically and it’s time to reflect that in how our fire stations, engines and staff are organised."
He added: "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.”
The plans include the closure of 12 fire stations elsewhere in London. The closest branch to Waltham Forest which could shut is in Bow.
Members of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority will discuss the plans on Monday January 21.
A final decision is expected to be made aby the organisation in June following a public consultation. Visit http://www.london.gov.uk/LFEPA/mgAi.aspx?ID=1016#mgDocuments for more information.
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