Tower Hamlets Council in last ditch legal challenge to save Bow fire station
PUBLISHED: 16:34 12 August 2013 | UPDATED: 16:40 12 August 2013
A legal challenge to “reckless” fire brigade cuts is set to be lodged by Tower Hamlets Council in a last ditch effort to save Bow fire station.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson confirmed last week that he was pushing ahead with plans to close 10 of the capital’s fire stations – including Bow.
But Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman announced today that the borough is joining forces with Islington, Southwark and Camden to challenge the cuts in the courts, describing the planned closure of the Parnell Road station as “unlawful”.
“Boris Johnson’s decision to close Bow fire station demonstrates his reckless approach to Londoners’ safety, and I believe it is unlawful,” he said.
“He has ignored our campaigning and our pleas. But he can’t ignore us in court.
“Bow Fire station needs to stay. Residents’ lives depend on it.”
Mr Rahman said the Mr Johnson ignored lobbying from politicians, the Fire Brigades’ Union and local residents.
Despite the fierce opposition, Mr Johnson insists cuts are necessary to make savings of £28million over the next two years.
An estimated 520 firefighters across London will lose their jobs – but City Hall insists there will be no compulsory redundancies.
And response times in Bow are estimated to increase by two to three minutes, according to official estimates.
But Mr Johnson said: “Ensuring that London’s Fire Service is financially stable and keeping Londoners safe are top priorities.
We need to move forward to face the challenges of 21st century firefighting.”