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Waltham Forest pulls out of fire cuts review
Waltham Forest Council has pulled out of a coalition of councils pursuing a judicial review of mayor Boris Johnson’s fire services across the capital.
Waltham Forest was one of eight boroughs that wrote to Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, asking him to overrule the Mayor’s plans which will see the closure of 10 fire stations and the loss of 14 fire engines in London.
If Mr Pickles failed to do this the eight councils said they would seek a judicial review into the decision, which would see the number of fire engines in Waltham Forest reduced from eight to five.
It is claimed this would increase the time a second fire engine would take to arrive at a blaze by nearly a minute.
But Waltham Forest Council confirmed today it is no longer seeking a judicial review with the seven other boroughs; Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.
A spokeswoman for the council said: ”While we are no longer pursuing the judicial review we remain an interested party in the proceedings.
“We will continue to speak out on behalf of residents against the removal of three of Waltham Forest’s eight fire appliances and closely monitor the impact the withdrawal of these vital appliances has on residents’ safety.
“We remain firmly of the view that these plans are reckless and will put lives at risk.”
The council has not yet revealed why it has taken the decision to withdraw from the judicial review process.
The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority voted to approve the final version of the Mayor’s plans on Wednesday afternoon after it received legal advice there were no grounds for it to challenge the cuts.
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