Together with other London Labour MPs, Teresa has co-signed a letter to London Mayor Boris Johnson urging him to re-think his proposed cuts to the London Fire Brigade which could see 17 fire stations, 17 fire appliances and over 600 fire-fighters lost across London.
The London Fire Brigade is facing severe cuts due to the government slashing the fire budget by 25%. This represents the biggest shake-up to the London Fire Brigade since it was created 146 years ago. The budget was cut by £29.5million this year and will be slashed by a further £35.3million next year, a total of £65million. These losses are even deeper than the 20% cut to the police budget.
To confuse matters further, the Conservative Chair of the Fire Authority, James Cleverly, has publicly stated that only 28 out of London’s 112 stations “will definitely not close”. There has been no public consultation on this issue which threatens to put Londoners’ safety at risk.
Speaking this week as the letter was delivered to the Mayor, Teresa said:
“I am deeply concerned about the Mayor’s proposed cuts to fire services in London. I believe they would have a serious impact on the speed with which crews are able to attend fires, and would also have a detrimental impact on the ability of the fire service to continue their excellent community safety and fire prevention work.
“I am particularly concerned that one of the stations earmarked for closure is Woolwich station, which if it were to close would affect my constituents in Plumstead and possibly Thamesmead. I hope Boris Johnson will listen to these concerns and reconsider these dangerous cuts which could result in significant property damage, job losses and potential loss of life”.
The letter states:
“We are deeply concerned about the impact of the proposed closures and job losses on frontline fire services in communities across London. With half a million Londoners living in tall residential buildings, many based in the constituencies we serve, we believe that cuts on such a large scale could put the safety and wellbeing of our constituents at risk. It seems shocking that cuts of this magnitude are being considered when there are eighteen residential fires alone in London each day and over one hundred London schools reporting fires last year.”