The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has welcomed a decision by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) to reject proposals to close 12 fire stations, remove 18 engines and slash 520 firefighter posts in the capital.
The proposals, which were put to the authority yesterday by fire commissioner Ron Dobson and have the support of the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, were defeated by nine votes to eight, with only the Tory group voting in favour. The Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green representatives voted against.
The stormy debate took place while the FBU held a rally outside, which was attended by 500 firefighters and members of the public.
However, the mayor has since declared that he will ignore the decision and force the cuts through.
The FBUâ€™s regional secretary for London, Paul Embery, said: â€œWe welcome the decision of the fire authority to reject these reckless and dangerous cuts. It was the right outcome. But Boris Johnsonâ€™s intervention is deplorable. It is arrogant in the extreme for the mayor to think he knows better than his own fire authority.
â€œThe mayorâ€™s unprecedented move raises all sorts of questions about democracy and accountability. He should listen to his fire authority; he should listen to the workforce, and he should listen to Londoners, the vast majority of whom oppose these cuts. If he pushes ahead, we will campaign vigorously to defend Londonâ€™s fire service.â€
Paul Embery 07854 998 508