Ten London fire stations have closed their doors for the last time as callous Tory Mayor Boris Johnson pushed through £50 million of cuts to the fire and rescue service against overwhelming public opposition.
Johnson’s cuts will save each household a paltry 7 pence a week, at a cost of 552 jobs and 14 fire engines.
The YCL believes that the cuts, fought tooth and nail by the Fire Brigades Union, councils and residents in the effected boroughs, will endanger the lives of Londoners, making the capital a more dangerous place to live.
As FBU regional secretary Paul Embery said: “Boris Johnson will have blood on his hands. It will be only a matter of time before someone dies because a fire engine did not get to them in time.”
Few will have been left unmoved by the sight of Clerkenwell fire fighters breaking down in tears as the 140-year-old station, which in Mr Embery’s words survived the Blitz but not Johnson’s balance sheet, shut its doors for the last time.
But the real tragedy will be in weeks to come when people die because emergency services arrive seconds too late – there were two incidents, in Silverton and Plumstead, in recent weeks that would have been fatal had these cuts already taken place.
The YCL London District wholeheartedly condemns these attacks, not only on one section of the organised working class, but on the safety of all those in the city.
We also send our solidarity to fire fighters across England and Wales battling a heartless, penny-pinching pensions grab that will see them sacked for getting old.