Politicians to protest ‘foolish’ closure of Bow Fire Station tomorrow

Rushanara Ali MP protesting against closure of fire stations last year

Rushanara Ali MP protesting against closure of fire stations last year - Credit: Archant

Protesters will meet outside Bow Fire Station tomorrow on the day of its closure, following an unsuccessful high court battle to save the station in December.

The closure of Bow Fire Station was voted for by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) in September 2013.

The approved plans will close 10 fire stations and axe 550 jobs across the capital, saving £45million over the next two years.

Labour politicians including Rushanara Ali MP and John Biggs, Labour’s candidate for Tower Hamlets mayor, will meet at 8.30am in Parnell Road to demonstrate against the cuts to the fire service.

Cllr Sirajul Islam, leader of the Labour group, said: “Boris Johnson’s decision to close Bow Fire Station will significantly increase response times and thus sadly put lives at risk.

“This is especially dangerous in a densely populated area like Tower Hamlets with a many high rise buildings.”

Mr Biggs, who is also a member of the London Assembly, called the move “a foolish decision.” A spokesman for Bow Station said: “We’re very unhappy that the station is closing and it will have an impact on our local residents’ safety.”

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However, LFEPA chairman James Cleverly said: “Londoners will continue to receive one of the fastest emergency response times in the world from the London Fire Brigade.

“If you dial 999 and need a fire engine, we still aim to have one with you within six minutes and a second, if needed, within eight.”

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has said: “London’s fire fighters are the best in the world with incomparable response times.

“However we need to continue to modernise the service, so that it is fully equipped for the challenges of 21st century fire fighting.”