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Proposed closure of Westminster fire station

January 30, 2013

Mark and Westminster City Council have been concerned by the Mayor of London’s plans to close Westminster fire station in Greycoat Place, Victoria.

As Mark understands it, the justification put forward for closing these fire stations in large part relies on the fact that fires are rarer in modern buildings. However, as 75% of Westminster is a conservation area, containing some of the most important collections of historical buildings in the world, he does not feel this reasoning relates to the reality of many of Westminster’s residences, quite apart from the very high prevalence of nationally significant buildings and infrastructure in the area.

In addition, recent Fire Service statistics suggest current provision may already be strained in some respects – for example, there appears to have been a lengthening of response times for fire engines to arrive at the scene of an incident. Clearly such statistics and the implications of the proposed closure require careful study, analysis, and interpretation and both WCC Officers and one of the council’s Policy & Scrutiny Committees are currently looking in detail at the implications of the proposed changes for the borough – while there may be explanations, on the face of it these stats represent another reason why we do not believe these proposals to be acceptable.

‘I share Westminster City Council’s concerns about the Mayor’s plans to close Westminster Fire Station in Greycoat Place.’ Mark said. ‘City Hall must conduct a comprehensive and proper consultation on this issue and listen to the results. Only nine years ago, Marylebone Fire Station was closed and over the past six years there has been a 12 per cent rise in fire engines coming into the borough to deal with incidents. I appreciate the severe financial constraints that the Mayor is operating under but I do hope that safety concerns in central London remain paramount as he considers the best path forward’.