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Bexley residents encouraged to have their say over proposed fire engine removals

PUBLISHED: 17:01 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:31 19 January 2016

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A consultation has begun regarding budget cuts of £6.4million

The people of Bexley are being urged to have their say over the proposed removal of an engine at Erith fire station.

A consultation was launched last month by the London Fire Brigade as the mayor demands budget cuts of £6.4million, with Bexley councillors meeting last night to discuss the two options presented to residents.

One option will see the permanent removal of 13 fire engines from across the capital, and the other which will focus on back office efficiencies, allowing the engines to be returned.

A panel made up of London Assembly members, area deputy assistant commissioner Ian Hughes and the fire commissioner, Ron Dobson, were grilled on the two options, with Erith councillor Abena Oppong-Asare expressing concern that more fire engines being removed could exacerbate a recent rise in response times across the capital.

13 wards in Bexley saw a rise in response times in 2014/15, when compared with the previous year, before Boris Johnson’s closure of 10 fire stations and scrapping of 14 engines.

Cllr Oppong-Asare said: “I am concerned about the removal of an engine at Erith fire station.

“Erith is undergoing many regeneration changes at a very fast pace and I am not convinced that a removal has taken into consideration the growing population in Erith.

“I know that the fire commissioner mentioned in the public meeting that emergency calls received have dropped and that there has been lots of preventative work carried out to reduce fire deaths, but we currently have 12 wards in Bexley not meeting those six minute targets.

“I urge all residents to respond to the consultation on the future of London’s fire service.”

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