Open Letter To The Editor On Fire Consultation Meetings

Reporting no station closures or removal of fire engines in Wandsworth

Conservative London Assembly Member for Wandsworth, Richard Tracey, reports back from yesterday's Wandsworth public consultation meeting...

I attended the Wandsworth public consultation meeting (Thursday 4th April) on the London Fire Brigade’s proposals for their planned reductions across London, and I was happy to see that there would be no station closures nor removal of fire engines in Wandsworth, so Labour politicians’ scaremongering seemed baseless. I was impressed by the level of detail in the plan; it was evident that the senior fire officers had rigorously looked at the effects the modest reductions of stations and fire engines will have on fire cover across London.

The myth that reversing the Mayor’s 1p a day council tax cut would stop the need for station closures was quickly dispelled and the logic behind reducing the fire service by 10% while London suffers from 50% fewer fires was adequately explained. It was comforting to know that London will retain over 150 fire engines and the crews to man them, allowing the fire brigade readily to respond to any large incident while maintaining their focus on preventing fires through installing smoke alarms and fire safety visits.

Although I was grateful for the fire brigade officers coming to explain their plan, I couldn’t help but question the huge amount of taxpayer’s money being wasted on holding public meetings in boroughs such as Wandsworth - and the 15 others like it across London – that aren’t seeing a reduction in stations or fire engines. I wasn’t surprised to learn that this was the result of the Labour Group, backed by Lib Dem and Green politicians, insisting on meetings in every London borough, presumably so they can stand up in a virtually empty room and publicly undermine the plan for London’s safety. Apart from Labour's Navin Shah AM, there wasn't another single Labour, Lib Dem, or Green politician present!

Richard Tracey AM
London Assembly Member for Wandsworth


April 12, 2013