Chiswick Fire Station May Not Escape Cutbacks

Report contains option to target local station and keep Acton open

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Chiswick Fire Station (which covers Brentford) may be under threat of closure under plans to save millions by closing London Fire Brigade stations.

A report discussed at a meeting of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) last week (Nov 22) contains cost-cutting options that would see Chiswick close and Acton gain another appliance.

Under a leaked report last month, Chiswick was due to gain another appliance and Acton close. But the Fifth London Safety Plan document to be discussed by members of the Authority contains a number of remodelled £25 million cost-cutting options under which Chiswick would close.

The report to the LFEPA report states; “An example of a revision based upon practicalities is that the modelling proposal to close Acton and add a pumping appliance to Chiswick would not proceed. Acton fire station also hosts the LAS and single person quarters and both of these could be protected if Acton remains open."

A spokesman for the Authority told Chiswick that no option had been decided upon and final decisions on station closures would not be made until next year.

The Authority has said that the modelling work is not complete and should not be taken as representing final proposals.

At the meeting the Authority will be asked to approve the budget submission and approve a draft London Safety Plan. The 17-member Authority consists of 8 members from the London assembly, seven from London boroughs and 2 are mayoral appointments.

Fire authority chairman James Cleverly said last month that the service had inherited some “quite antiquated” stations among its 113-strong estate. He insisted the leaked list could be significantly changed depending on the authority’s final budget at the end of the year.

According to the leaked confidential document which created a political storm last month, the Fire Authority’s 'preferred option’, saw a number of key stations including Chiswick, East Greenwich, Euston, Hendon, Purley, and Twickenham, gaining an extra appliance.

Proposed station closures in the leaked report included ; Acton, Belsize, Clerkenwell, Downham, Islington, Kensington, Knightsbridge, New Cross, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster, Woolwich, Bow, Clapham, Kingsland, Peckham, Whitechapel.

Chiswick was not on the list of 28 Fire Stations who were given 'protected' status from closure.

The Fire Brigades Union has described the proposed cuts to the fire service as “potentially the biggest threat the London Fire Brigade is facing since the days of the Luftwaffe."

He was referring to proposals to save £65 million by closing seventeen stations and losing 600 posts across London.

The Mayor, Boris Johnson has denied cutbacks will lead to diminished services for Londoners.

The Authority says "The draft London Safety Plan will not include detailed proposals about changes to our operational service; that will not happen until mid-January, when the Authority will hold a special meeting to debate the final budget submission to the Mayor and, as part of the draft London Safety Plan, any operational changes. Public consultation on the draft London Safety Plan will follow this meeting.

In March 2013, the Resources Committee will meet again to recommend to the Authority that it agrees an interim detailed budget for 2013/14 pending the outcome of our consultation on the draft London Safety Plan. This means final budget decisions on the both the budget and the London Safety Plan would be made in June 2013."

Anyone who wishes to read the latest report in full can do so at;

November 26, 2012

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