Downham Fire Station to close for good in wake of capital budget cuts
PUBLISHED: 10:45 08 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:00 08 January 2014
Downham Fire Station in Bromley will close for good tomorrow as part of London-wide cuts to the fire service.
The station on Reigate Road is one of 10 stations that will close across the capital in a bid to help save £45m over the next two years.
Despite petitions led by local MPs and residents to save the Downham facility and a High Court Challenge fighting the decision to cut services, the station closures will go ahead at the end of Thursday’s night shift at 9.30am.
Five hundred and fifty two fire-fighting posts will also go across London, although no compulsory redundancies will be made.
Orpington Fire Station on Avalon Road will gain a second fire engine in the changes to help respond to emergencies in the wake of the Downham station closure.
Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, James Cleverly, said Londoners would continue to be safe and the Brigade would continue to aim for their target of getting to an incident within six minutes.
Mr Cleverly, added: “The Brigade is faced with significant budget cuts which mean that changes to the service are inevitable. “The firefighters based at the stations closing will now transfer to other stations and continue the excellent work they do to prevent fires.”
The Fire Brigades Union dispute claims that Londoners will be safer and have accused Boris Johnson of “playing fast and loose with the facts”.
In a statement the FBU said: “The simple truth is that fire and rescue services will get to emergencies more slowly in the future because of his cuts.
“During his campaign to close 10 London fire stations, the Mayor has claimed that fire deaths are ‘steadily’ declining in the capital and that most Londoners can expect a fire engine to arrive within target attendance times, but London firefighters say both statements are untrue.”