PM Johnson has been urged to deliver emergency funds to protect London from £20m of fire cuts.
The London Fire Brigade faces £20m of cuts as part of the Mayor of London’s £431m pandemic deficit plans.
The FBU warns that firefighters ‘will not forgive nor forget’ if the Prime Minister is withholding support for the LFB to influence the London Mayoral election.
London firefighters have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to step in and protect the London Fire Brigade from £20m worth of ‘deadly’ cuts that could seriously damage fire cover just as the city faces a pandemic, a building safety crisis exposed by Grenfell, and the threat of terrorist attacks.
New figures reveal that, despite increasing firefighter numbers by 53 (1%) over the last year, the London Fire Brigade still has 1,177 fewer firefighters than in 2010, showing the city is ‘still hasn’t recovered from the damage’ inflicted when Boris Johnson was Mayor, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says.
As Mayor, Johnson cut London Fire Brigade’s (LFB) budget by £150m, closing 10 fire stations, scrapping 27 fire engines, and slashing firefighter numbers by 1,242.
Now his government is so far refusing to provide emergency financial support to Sadiq Khan’s City Hall which is having to make up a £431m deficit brought on by the pandemic, £20 million of which is set to be made up through cuts to London’s fire service.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said the Prime Minister must provide emergency financial support to City Hall or risk ‘finishing the job he started as Mayor’.
A 2016 review, completed before the Grenfell Tower fire, said the brigade could not sustain any more cuts after Johnson left office if it was to have sufficient resources to meet the challenges of the future and to keep Londoners safe.
On Thursday (29 October) the FBU launched its #StandUpToTheCuts campaign which will highlight the danger to the public of following through with the planned cuts to the LFB budget.
The city still has 142 high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings with flammable ACM cladding. London is the epicentre of the UK’s building safety crisis and firefighters say cuts could further harm their response to a major fire.