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New Cross fire station saved - but Woolwich and Downham to close
NEW Cross fire station will no longer be closed as part of cuts worth £29m, it was revealed today - but Downham and Woolwich stations still face the chop.
The U-turn on New Cross follows months of angry consultation meetings over Mayof London Boris Johnson's proposals to axe 12 fire stations, withdraw engines and cut hundreds of jobs.
Now a revised plan will see New Cross and Clapham remain open, but with 32 extra jobs being lost across the London service.
The New Cross station will have one appliance, while, in a new deployment, East Greenwich will receive an extra one.
Politicians, residents and firemen had warned the closures would put lives at risk.
Lewisham and Greenwich London Assembly member Len Duvall said: “At the public meetings in both Greenwich and Lewisham residents spoke with one voice against the closure of Woolwich and Downham fire stations.
"Boris has not listened to residents and is going ahead with his ill-thought out plan.
“Public meetings have shown that Londoners are fearful for the safety of the areas where they live and work. They are understandably worried about injuries and fatalities from fire.
"I’m pleased the Mayor has listened to local residents and scrapped his reckless plans to close New Cross fire station but I am deeply disappointed that Boris has failed to protect London’s fire brigade in south east London by scrapping his plans for Woolwich and Downham.
"He has let Londoners down with his plan to close 10 fire stations and axe 14 fire engines, after all this is about the protection of the whole of London.”
Cabinet member for community safety at Lewisham Council Councillor Janet Daby said: “We are obviously very pleased for New Cross and our neighbouring borough Southwark, and that the London Fire Commissioner has taken our views on board.
"However, we are extremely disappointed for Downham as a lot of people live in and around the area. The proposed closure of the fire station there will almost certainly affect response times in an emergency.”
The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) will meet next week to vote on the Mayor’s plans.
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