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Fire station closures in neighbouring boroughs could affect Brent

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 November 2012 | UPDATED: 11:45 12 November 2012

Andrew Dismore

Andrew Dismore

Archant

Plans to axe Belsize and Acton stations could have a heavy impact

A politician and member of a committee which oversees the Fire Brigade’s actions has said the proposed axing of stations could have a heavy impact on Brent, regardless of whether any closures are in the borough.

Andrew Dismore, who sits on the Fire Authority, told the Times the proposed closures of Belsize and Acton fire stations could have a knock-on effect.

This month, the Times revealed that two of Brent’s three stations were under threat after only Wembley was named as “safe” in a leaked document.

Both Willesden and Harlesden fire stations, in Pound Lane and Waxlow Road, were not listed as safe or for proposed closure sparking fears over their future.

However, the document, which outlines ways of saving £65million over two years at the expense of up to 600 jobs across the capital, earmarks 17 stations for closure including Belsize Station in Lancaster Grove and Acton Station in Gunnersbury Lane both close to Brent’s borders.

Mr Dismore, also London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, said: “A serious fire and some house fires would usually need back-up from another station.

“In the case of somewhere like Kilburn, there is a station in West Hampstead but back-up would always come from Belsize. What is going to happen if it closes?

“The same can be said for buildings and houses in the west of the borough that may rely on engines from Acton.”

Mr Dismore’s warning has been echoed by Navin Shah, the London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow.

Mr Shah also City Hall Fire spokesman said: “Londoners, including people in my constituency, are deeply concerned about losing their local fire station.

“We understand that savings have to be made, but the level of cuts forced on the LFB are truly reckless.”

The changes represent the biggest shake-up to the London Fire Brigade since it was created 146 years ago.

Despite this, however Mayor of London Boris Johnson, whose City Hall controls the brigade’s budget, insisted there would be no reduction in service or response times.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said the full details will not be known until at least December, when the government announces its grant to the Brigade.

He added: “We expect to be able to maintain our current target response times.

“No decisions about any possible fire station closures have yet been taken. Before they are, there will be a full public consultation.”


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