14:52 20 May 2013 (First published in Brent and Kilburn Times)
Navin Shah and Barry Gardiner kick-start crusade in Wembley
Labour politicians have launched a campaign to save the closure of 12 fire stations in London claiming the plans will have an impact on the lives of Brent residents.
Navin Shah, Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, teamed up with Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North, outside Wembley Fire Station to kick-start their crusade last Friday.
They claim the proposals by the Mayor of London through the Draft London Safety Plan (LSPF) will result in an arrival time increase of 15 seconds for the first engine and 16 seconds for a second.
According to campaigners, with three fire fatalities Brent had the joint highest number in the city alongside Islington in 2011/12.
Cllr Aslam Choudry, the newly elected Brent Council lead member for crime and public safety, said: “The closure of fire stations is going to have a major impact on the lives of people in Brent.”
A public consultation into the plans, which will also see the loss of 18 engines and 520 fire-fighter posts, ends on June 17.
Mr Shah, who is also the vice chair of the London Fire Authority, said: “People have been concerned about the plans to close the fire stations.
“I appeal our residents, businesses and stakeholders to ensure that they oppose the closure of fire stations.”
Ron Dobson, London Fire Commissioner, said LSPF would continue to keep Londoners safe.
He added: “Preventing fires before they happen is our priority and our commitment to community safety work will continue, including our successful home fire safety scheme, which sees around 70,000 free smoke alarms fitted each year.”
To take part in the consultation visit http://www.london-fire.gov.uk.