Councils take latest step in fight to keep fire stations

Seven London councils united against proposed cuts to the capital's fire service have taken the latest step in their fight to reverse the decision.

Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets councils have now made an application for permission to apply for a judicial review of the decision by the Mayor of London, the London Fire Commissioner and the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to make cuts to London's fire and rescue service.

The application was issued on Thursday 3 October at the Royal Courts of Justice.  The councils also applied for an injunction preventing the cuts programme from being put in place until the judicial review application has been considered.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council
Calling for a judicial review is the final step in a fight which has seen our repeated appeals to the Mayor of London to rethink his damaging fire cuts fall on deaf ears. It is now necessary to take this action in order to protect the lives of many Londoners including the most vulnerable members of our community. We believe that the Mayor of London's decision is flawed and that he has acted unlawfully in disregarding legal processes and ignoring safety concerns to force cuts through. We have confidence that we have a strong case to put forward. We are doing everything within our power to protect residents from the consequences of this damaging decision and ensure that stations are kept open and firefighters positions are not lost.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council

The councils' legal challenge says the cuts are unlawful, budget-driven and will have a serious effect on some residents' lives.

The 10 fire stations facing closure are Belsize in Camden, Bow in Tower Hamlets, Clerkenwell in Islington, Downham in Lewisham, Kingsland in Hackney, Knightsbridge in Kensington and Chelsea, Silvertown in Newham, Southwark, Westminster, and Woolwich in Greenwich. If the Mayor's plans go ahead the fire stations will close on 9 January 2014.