I have written to Boris Johnson asking him to think again on his reckless cuts to Islington's fire services.
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Read the text of my full letter below:
Mr Boris Johnson
Mayor of London
The Queen's Walk
Proposed closure of Islington Fire Stations
I am very concerned to hear that the London Fire Authority is proposing to close both fire stations in my constituency, and that you were reported as supporting the plan.
I am very worried that these proposals for our Fire Stations are about saving money – not saving lives. Under your plans both Clerkenwell and Islington Fire Stations will be shut – alongside fifteen others across the capital - leaving Islington with just one dedicated fire station. I am very concerned that this will mean longer response times and fewer fire engines – and will put the safety of Islington people at risk.
As a resident of Islington South and Finsbury I am sure that you will have noticed that we are the most densely populated constituency in the country. Islington Fire Stations play a crucial role in ensuring our safety – not just through their rapid response to any incident but also hosting regular open days and helping my constituents make sure their homes are safe.
With an increasing population and tightly packed buildings a fire in an Islington home could spread very quickly. And with the Kings Cross development just completed, City Road Basin currently being redeveloped, and 60,000 people regularly filling the Emirates Stadium it cannot be right to cut back on Islington’s emergency services.
Most troublingly, Clerkenwell Fire Station is the base for much of London Fire Brigade’s specialist rescue equipment – with the vital and lifesaving apparatus needed to rescue people trapped in the Underground or caught in a terrorist attack. With the City of London right on its doorstep, Clerkenwell Fire Station is the first line of response should tragedy strike. I believe it would be deeply wrong to cut this critical emergency cover.
I understand that the proposals will be coming before the London Fire Authority in November. I hope you will take this time to listen to the voices of Islington people, think again on your proposals, and withdraw these reckless and damaging plans.
Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury