Firefighters and residents from the borough of Tower Hamlets will be marching through London this afternoon (14 June) in protest at deep cuts to the London Fire Brigade, which, says the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), will seriously jeopardise public safety.Â
The closure of Bow fire station in Parnell Road and the removal of an engine from Whitechapel fire station in Commercial Road, with the associated loss of 80 firefighters from the borough, have been recommended as part of an overall cuts package that would see the closure of 12 stations across London, the removal of 18 engines and the loss of 520 frontline firefighter posts.
Protestors will assemble at 2.00pm at Altab Ali Park in Adler Street, Whitechapel, before marching to City Hall, home of Boris Johnson and the GLA, where they will hold a rally. Speakers will include the mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, Labour GLA member Valerie Shawcross and the general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, Matt Wrack. The protestors will then hand in petitions containing thousands of signatures.
A public consultation exercise over the cuts concludes on 17 June. The FBU’s regional secretary for London, Paul Embery, said: “There are more fires in Tower Hamlets than any other London borough, and the area has high levels of deprivation. It is, therefore, utterly reckless for Boris Johnson to seek to make such deep cuts in fire cover throughout the borough. These proposed cuts are dangerous and wrong. They would mean people waiting longer for a fire engine, and that would cost lives. The fight to defend fire cover for Londoners is far from over. We need the widest possible campaign against the cuts. Peopleâ€™s lives depend on it.â€
CONTACT: PAUL EMBERY 07854 998508