Seven London councils united against proposed cuts to the capital’s fire service, including Westminster Fire Station, have taken the latest step in their fight to reverse the decision.
Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets councils have now made an application for permission to apply for a judicial review of the decision by the Mayor of London, the London Fire Commissioner and the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to make cuts to London’s fire and rescue service. Westminster’s Conservative Council refused to take part in the legal action.
The application was issued on Thursday 3 October at the Royal Courts of Justice. The councils also applied for an injunction preventing the cuts programme from being put in place until the judicial review application has been considered.
Councillor Paul Convery, executive member for community safety for Islington Council, which is leading the challenge on behalf of the seven councils, said:
“We believe we have a strong case and that we will succeed in defending our communities from these cuts which, if they go unchallenged, will make many of our residents less safe.
“We believe the Mayor’s decision is flawed and will do everything in our power to stop these fire stations from closing, and to stop fire engines from being lost.”
The councils’ legal challenge says the cuts are unlawful, budget-driven and will have a serious effect on some residents’ lives.
The 10 fire stations facing closure are Westminster at Greycoat Place, Belsize in Camden, Bow in Tower Hamlets, Clerkenwell in Islington, Downham in Lewisham, Kingsland in Hackney, Knightsbridge in Kensington and Chelsea, Silvertown in Newham, Southwark and Woolwich in Greenwich. If the Mayor’s plans go ahead the fire stations will close on 9 January 2014.