Hackney Council awaits result of legal challenge of Kingsland Fire Station closure plans
Hackney Council is one of seven Town Halls awaiting the result of a legal challenge to fight Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s plans to close 10 fire stations across the city – including Kingsland Fire Station.
Hackney, Camden, Greenwich, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets councils have filed an application for a judicial review of Mayor Johnson’s Fifth London Safety Plan initiative, which is set to save £29m through station closures, slashing 552 firefighter posts and reducing crew sizes.
All seven local authorities argue that the plan does not take into account fire risk factors specific to inner London, which is more densely populated, has more deprived and disadvantaged residents who are at greater risk from fire, and where fire responses are often more complex.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor of Hackney, said: “We have decided to take this joint action in order to protect the lives of many Londoners, including the most vulnerable members of our community.
“We are doing everything within our power to protect residents from the consequences of this flawed and damaging decision and ensure that stations are kept open and firefighters positions are not lost.”
The councils also claim that the plan would have an impact on public safety, that the Equalities Act was breached, and that the consultation process was unlawful.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “The Judicial Review against the adoption of the fifth London Safety Plan finished on Friday 29 following three and a half days of submissions at the Royal Courts of Justice. The judge indicated that he would aim for an outcome before Christmas.
“The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority defended itself against the claims and we now await the judge’s decision.”
Boris Johnson has insisted safety is still a ‘top priority’ and that his decision to close some stations was taken to ensure there is a balanced Fire Authority budget.