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Simon Hughes "100%" opposed to Southwark Fire Station closure

London SE1 website team

As the official consultation on plans to close Southwark Fire Station and 11 others gets under way, local MP Simon Hughes has announced his opposition to the proposals.

Southwark Fire Station
Southwark Fire Station and training centre seen from the Shard
Adele Morris, Geoffrey Thornton and David Noakes
Cathedrals ward Lib Dem councillors Adele Morris, Geoffrey Thornton and David Noakes

A 12-week consultation on the Draft Fifth London Safety Plan was launched on Monday morning and will close at 5pm on Tuesday 28 May.

A questionnaire can be completed at and details of public meetings in each London borough will be announced soon.

"Compared to ten years ago, the brigade attends half as many fires, a third fewer house fires and almost a third fewer incidents overall," said Ron Dobson, commissioner of the London Fire Brigade.

"But there is always more to be done. In the future, the resources available to the brigade will reduce and the number of people who can work for the brigade and provide our services will also reduce. We have passed the point where we can make the necessary level of savings without any impact on our fire stations."

Southwark Fire Station is one of a dozen proposed for closure, along with a net reduction of 18 fire engines and 520 fewer firefighter posts.

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority – which is chaired by a Conservative but where no party has a majority – has recorded its opposition to the station closure plan.

The authority last week agreed to hold a formal consultation on the proposals in order to avoid a legal challenge from Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

"I support 100 per cent my Liberal Democrat colleagues on the London Assembly and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority in opposing the plans to close a fire station in Southwark Bridge Road in my constituency, and other London fire stations," said Simon Hughes MP.

"We are paying the price of a wrong policy by the Mayor of London, who put a small reduction in the council tax precept over the best interests of the safety of Londoners."

Southwark Council's Labour leader Peter John last week described the fire station closure proposal as "crazy".

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