Fire stations in Barnet 'could close' under London mayor Boris Johnson's plans, says GLA member Andrew Dismore

London Mayor Boris Johnson is looking to reduce the London Fire Brigade’s budget over the next two financial years

London Mayor Boris Johnson is looking to reduce the London Fire Brigade’s budget over the next two financial years

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

Fire stations in Barnet “could be shut down” under cost-cutting plans by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Labour politician Andrew Dismore is worried one or more of Barnet’s four stations could be targeted as penny pinching officers at City Hall look to save £64.8million from the London Fire Brigade's budget.

The mayor’s office is looking to dramatically reduce the fire brigade's spending over the next two financial years, but the authority in charge of the service says cuts to frontline services would be unavoidable under current financial targets.

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) claims it would have to close of up to 30 stations across the capital to make up the deficit - with Barnet's own stations looking vulnerable.

A list of potential closures was due to be released by the authority at the end of September, but both the Conservative and Green Party members opposed its publication.

Labour member Mr Dismore, who sits on the LFEPA, said: “There is plenty of evidence that 30 fire stations are going and there is a chance a Barnet station could go. The one problem with Barnet is the call-out times are worse than some of the other stations.

“We were promised a list by the end of September but we have had nothing – it is very frustrating. The moment the list is published, there will be uproar, so they’re just looking to minimise that.”

Latest figures show Barnet’s fire stations have the second longest call-out times across the capital combined, at an average of 6mins 22secs.

Kensington and Chelsea hold the fastest average at 4mins 30secs with the slowest being Hillingdon with 6mins 38secs.

Ed Williams, clerk to the LFEPA, wrote to Mr Johnson on Thursday, laying out the authority’s concerns.

He said: “The authority is of the opinion that the scale of cuts expected by the Mayor is unacceptable and that (it) will lead to the closure of up to 30 fire stations and the loss of up to 30 pumping applications, with consequent reduction in attendance times and impact on public safety.”

The cost of running a one-pump station in the capital is £1.45million-a-year, with a two-pump station costing £2.43million.

Barnet stations that could be named on the list are Long Lane, in Finchley, Station Road, in High Barnet, The Burroughs, in Hendon, and Hartley Avenue, in Mill Hill.

Mr Dismore said: “Barnet is a big area and, with the major regeneration of Colindale and other areas, it is growing.

“Essentially, the population is going up and the emergency services are being reduced. The budget is now effectively set so there is practically no other options. I think it is a major concern.”

A Mayor of London's office spokeswoman said: "They are slightly jumping the gun with these claims.

"There has been no formal proposals yet and, once the LFEPA submits those to the Mayor of London, he will have the final say as to whether the cuts are realistic.

"We appreciate some difficult decisions have to be made but nothing has been put down on paper."

Comments (6)

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5:23pm Mon 8 Oct 12

OhWiseOne says...

One of the largest, richest boroughs in London with a massive population - Fire, Police and ambulance services being cut at the same time!

The tax payers of this borough once again see their money going elsewhere!

I read recently that Islington, a comparatively small borough has half the 999 calls requesting Police that Barnet has yet has twice the amount of officers just because they are classed as an inner city borough.... Where is the sense in that??
One of the largest, richest boroughs in London with a massive population - Fire, Police and ambulance services being cut at the same time! The tax payers of this borough once again see their money going elsewhere! I read recently that Islington, a comparatively small borough has half the 999 calls requesting Police that Barnet has yet has twice the amount of officers just because they are classed as an inner city borough.... Where is the sense in that?? OhWiseOne
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Methodman says...

Boris Johnsons mouthpiece says you are jumping the gun as nothing has been put down on paper.If you wait for the announcement of which stations will be closed,it will be too late to lobby.
Londons Fire service has been described as World class by politicians and professional firefighters alike.
The cost to each rate paying household for a world class service is 76pence per week.
£60 million must be cut from the LFB budget of £400 million by 2014.
Cutting 30 of Londons 160 pumping appliances will increase attendance times,leading to larger fires(more time to grow before they are attacked),increase the numbers of dead and injured and ultimately push up household insurance costs.
London currently has around 5500 firefighters compared to New York 11080 firefighters( and 3000 ambulance staff on top).The 2 cities are similar in size geographically and in population size.
The number of fire deaths each year are very similar.
You can see why London is regarded as one of the best Fire services of any major city as we achieve the same results with roughly half the personnel of comparable departments.
Boris Johnsons budget cuts will lead to the loss of around 1400 jobs,leaving the LFB with just 4000 firefighters.
The early stages of a fire are crucial to a successful outcome,fires must be attacked ASAP.In order for firefighters to do this in relative safety they must have a minimum amount of firefighters at the scene quickly.
In central London they used to get two fire engines in 5 minutes and the third within 8 minutes,3 engines guarantee the minimum number of firefighters to operate.
The minimum standards have been removed from legislation to pave the way for cuts.
The situation may develop into a tragedy by the time sufficient engines arrive when these cuts are rubber stamped.
It is disgusting that Mayor Johnson is happy to destroy a service of which every Londoner could be proud,all for the sake of £60 million a year,or forty of his new Routemaster buses.
Boris Johnsons mouthpiece says you are jumping the gun as nothing has been put down on paper.If you wait for the announcement of which stations will be closed,it will be too late to lobby. Londons Fire service has been described as World class by politicians and professional firefighters alike. The cost to each rate paying household for a world class service is 76pence per week. £60 million must be cut from the LFB budget of £400 million by 2014. Cutting 30 of Londons 160 pumping appliances will increase attendance times,leading to larger fires(more time to grow before they are attacked),increase the numbers of dead and injured and ultimately push up household insurance costs. London currently has around 5500 firefighters compared to New York 11080 firefighters( and 3000 ambulance staff on top).The 2 cities are similar in size geographically and in population size. The number of fire deaths each year are very similar. You can see why London is regarded as one of the best Fire services of any major city as we achieve the same results with roughly half the personnel of comparable departments. Boris Johnsons budget cuts will lead to the loss of around 1400 jobs,leaving the LFB with just 4000 firefighters. The early stages of a fire are crucial to a successful outcome,fires must be attacked ASAP.In order for firefighters to do this in relative safety they must have a minimum amount of firefighters at the scene quickly. In central London they used to get two fire engines in 5 minutes and the third within 8 minutes,3 engines guarantee the minimum number of firefighters to operate. The minimum standards have been removed from legislation to pave the way for cuts. The situation may develop into a tragedy by the time sufficient engines arrive when these cuts are rubber stamped. It is disgusting that Mayor Johnson is happy to destroy a service of which every Londoner could be proud,all for the sake of £60 million a year,or forty of his new Routemaster buses. Methodman
  • Score: 0

8:17pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Methodman says...

Many people believe the half-truths trotted out regularly by the tabloids regarding salaries of firefighters.
Firefighters on probation in London take home £1500 per month.
Fully qualified firefighters take home£1850 per month,regardless of whether they have served 5 years or 35 years.
Firefighters now serve for 40 years to receive a full pension.
Many people believe the half-truths trotted out regularly by the tabloids regarding salaries of firefighters. Firefighters on probation in London take home £1500 per month. Fully qualified firefighters take home£1850 per month,regardless of whether they have served 5 years or 35 years. Firefighters now serve for 40 years to receive a full pension. Methodman
  • Score: 0

11:03pm Mon 8 Oct 12

nlygo says...

please stop quoting Andrew Dismore's press releases

yet again you are editorialising in a news report

by stating: "penny pinching officers at City Hall" you are making both a political and a partisan comment
please stop quoting Andrew Dismore's press releases yet again you are editorialising in a news report by stating: "penny pinching officers at City Hall" you are making both a political and a partisan comment nlygo
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Tue 9 Oct 12

rony says...

when the tories shutter our services it's not "political and a partisan". when we protest it is.
when the tories shutter our services it's not "political and a partisan". when we protest it is. rony
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Fri 12 Oct 12

simples169 says...

we pay through our council tax for this service. why is it always public emergency services that get cut ?
why not city hall wages?
why not cut wastege at the top instead of first cutting those services that can make a difference to peoples lives.
im sure Boris would not like his local fire station closed !!
will we all get a council tax rebate for all these services we pay for but will no longer have ?
we pay through our council tax for this service. why is it always public emergency services that get cut ? why not city hall wages? why not cut wastege at the top instead of first cutting those services that can make a difference to peoples lives. im sure Boris would not like his local fire station closed !! will we all get a council tax rebate for all these services we pay for but will no longer have ? simples169
  • Score: 0

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