The ‘West End Extra’ reports;
“EMERGENCY response times are set to increase by more than two minutes in parts of Westminster if plans to close fire stations get the green light.
Official figures show that response times in six wards will not meet the critical six-minute target set by the London Fire Brigade.
Greycoat Place fire station in Victoria is one of 12 slated for closure as part of Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s plans to cut £45million from the brigade’s budget.
If the plans go ahead response times in Warwick ward would increase from 4 minutes 34 seconds to 7 minutes 16 seconds and by more than two minutes in Tachbrook and Vincent Square.
Conservative and Labour councillors have formed an unlikely alliance in their opposition to the closure and passed a motion which agreed to “seek any changes to [the plans] that will be necessary to ensure the continued safety of Westminster” at a full meeting of the council earlier this month.
Warwick ward Conservative Nickie Aiken said the response times were “unacceptable”, adding: “We have always laid out some very strong general arguments against the principle of these cuts.” She also raised concerns about the number of high-rise buildings and conservation areas that will be affected by the closure.
She said: “As we have repeatedly argued once we lose these fire stations they will be gone for ever.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour group, said the mayor should “abandon his plans to close Westminster fire station immediately”, adding: “These figures show that the mayor’s cuts will put lives at risk.”
He said: “Getting to a fire quickly saves lives. Seconds matter in these life-and-death situations.
“A fire can quadruple in intensity every two minutes.”
• A public meeting is due to be held on June 11 at Parker Morris Hall, 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU from 7pm.