LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2013) - The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has vowed to mobilise every firefighter at every fire station to defend London's fire service, after fire authority politicians decided to comply with an order by the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for public consultation to begin on proposals to close 12 fire stations, remove 18 engines and slash 520 frontline firefighter posts.
With the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) already having defied the mayor's order on two occasions, a meeting of the authority's urgency committee agreed this afternoon to give the go-ahead to the consultation. This came after the mayor threatened court action. However, the urgency committee agreed significant changes to the format of the consultation, and further agreed that the cuts would not be implemented during 2013/14.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks, and the union has called for the widest possible campaign to fight the cuts.
Regional secretary Paul Embery said: "The starting gun has been fired, and we want Londoners to join with us in defending their fire service. These cuts are reckless and wrong. They would mean nearly five million Londoners across twenty boroughs waiting longer for a fire engine, and that will place people in serious danger.
"We need the broadest based campaign which unites all sections of the community in opposition to the mayor. Nobody wants these cuts: not the fire authority, the GLA, the workforce or the community. Even some Conservative councils have come out against the cuts. It's Boris Johnson versus the rest of London.
"These cuts represent the biggest threat to the ability of the London Fire Brigade to function since the days of the Blitz. It is incumbent on all of us to do what we can to fight them."