This week, following Boris Johnson's reckless decision to close fire stations across London, Kingsland Fire Station closed its doors for the last time.
Hackney Labour was out to join the firefighters and many others in protest at Kingsland Fire Station on Thursday 9th January. This follows a long campaign to try and save the fire station, ever since Boris Johnson’s plan was revealed in 2012
Boris failed to listen to local residents and forced these cuts through. In response to his consultation, an overwhelming 94% of Londoners said they do not support his plans, yet he went ahead with them anyway. Hackney Council took legal action against the decision, along with six other London boroughs who also face fire station closures.
However, in December 2013, there was bad news as the High Court rejected the claim and the fate of Kingsland Fire Station was sealed.
We know the fire service are called to more incidents in the south of Hackney than anywhere else in the borough and the London Fire Brigade admitted that with Kingsland closed response times would soar. A third of Hackney now falls outside London Fire Brigade’s recommended response time. Londonwide there are now 10 fewer fire stations, 14 fewer fire engines and 552 fewer firefighters.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, said: "We are very disappointed with this result. The Mayor of London chose to ignore the very real concerns of residents to force through these plans which put lives in our community at risk. After the closure yesterday we heard that Shoreditch Fire Station will be taking on a lot of Kingsland's ground, but without getting an engine back. We will continue to fight for this to happen."
Jennette Arnold OBE, Assembly Member said: "I want to pay tribute and to say a personal thank you to the firefighters who are now unemployed, despite putting their lives on the line on a daily basis to keep Londoners safe and to save Londoners’ lives. They truly are heroes and deserve to be applauded for their dedication and professionalism. It is devastating for them, their families and for local residents that many brave firemen and women have now lost their jobs."
Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign.