Local Liberal Democrats have urged London Fire Brigade not to proceed with its plan to close Woolwich Fire Station. Local campaigner Stewart Christie says, "London Fire Brigade attended nearly 1200 fires in Greenwich in 2011-12. Their own figures acknowledge that average response times in the Borough are likely to increase by 30 seconds if Woolwich Fire Station is closed and by much more than this in Woolwich itself."
"This could mean the difference between life and death in some cases. The proposed closure of Woolwich Fire Station is particularly worrying in view of the large population increase projected for the area."
Indeed, figures from the London Fire Brigade themselves show that most of Greenwich Borough will be affected by these cuts. If the closure of Woolwich Fire Station goes ahead only four wards will be within LFB targets for repsonse times, currently set at six minutes for the first applicance and eight minutes for the second. The table below highlights in red the repsonse times which are outside the target.
Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the London Assembly Liberal Democrat Group, has written to the Fire Commissioner expressing her opposition to fire station closures, and to any reduction in the number of fire engines across London. Caroline says that, "Londoners would prefer to see their fire safety cover retained and improved in preference to tax cuts amounting to no more than 7p a week per household in 2013/14".
She suggests that keeping existing cover could allow more home inspections, including thorough inspections of tower blocks which potentially present the most difficult fire-fighting challenge.
The chairman of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has indicated his willingness to reconsider the draft proposals in the light of evidence presented during the consultation period which closes on 17th June. Concerned residents are urged to respond before then.
There is also plenty more you can do - visit Save Our Stations for more ideas.