The leader of Lambeth, Cllr Lib Peck, has welcomed a clear commitment in a letter from the US Embassy that they, ‘will not hesitate to raise our concerns’ about safety in relation to the proposed closure of fire stations in London.
On 14th March 2013 Cllr Peck wrote to the US Ambassador to outline her concerns about the Mayor of London’s proposal to close Clapham Fire station. The site of the new US Embassy in Nine Elms is currently covered by fire crews from Clapham Fire station.
In a letter sent to Cllr Peck this week, the US Embassy said, ‘since we share your concerns that any changes not detract from the local authorities abilitiy to respond quickly to fire emergencies’.The full letter is attached.
According to the London Fire Brigade, the closure of Clapham fire station will increase the (average) response times in Lambeth by 36 seconds for the first fire engine and 43 seconds for the second fire engine.
The area surrounding the new US Embassy in Nine Elms is the biggest regeneration scheme in Europe with 16,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs being created. Cllr Peck and Lambeth council have raised concerns about the impact of proposals to make cuts to the fire service on the safety of the rapidly increasing numbers of residents and businesses in Nine Elms.
Cllr Lib Peck said, “I am pleased that the US Embassy has made this clear commitment that they will not hesitate to raise their concerns’ about safety in relation to the Mayor and Fire Brigade’s proposals to cut the number of fire stations in London. I am extremely concerned that their plan to close Clapham Fire Station has failed to take account of the huge increase in the number of people living and working in Nine Elms area in the coming years. It’s time for the Mayor to think again about closing Clapham fire station and put the safety of our residents, businesses and visitors first.”
Cllr Jack Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Neighbourhoods said, “The development of Nine Elms with thousands of new homes being built and new businesses moving into the area will mean more, not fewer, demands on our emergency services. The fire brigade have admitted that their proposal to close Clapham fire station will reduce the fire services ability to respond quickly to emergencies.”
1. Copy of US Embassy letter to Cllr Peck attached (date) – USEmbassyClapFire
2. Letter from Cllr Peck to US Ambassador sent in March 2013
3. Lambeth residents will get the chance to have their say on plans to close Clapham Fire station at a public meeting organised by the London Fire Authority and Mayor of London at 7pm, Thursday 16th May.