Search

Fire authority shake-up could put public safety ‘at risk’

14:00 30 July 2014

A young campaigner outside Belsize fire station earlier this year

A young campaigner outside Belsize fire station earlier this year

Archant

Public safety could be at risk if a proposed shake-up of politicians in charge of London’s fire services gets the green light, according to Camden’s communities chief.

Cllr Abdul Hai, cabinet member for communities, said that Mayor of London Boris Johnson is running a “dictatorship” in response to his proposals for fewer democratically-elected councillors and more mayor-appointed members on the The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), which runs the London Fire Brigade.

Cllr Hai argued that the mayor plans to surround himself with people who will not “stand up for Londoners”, which could put the public’s safety in jeopardy.

Cllr Jonathan Simpson, cabinet member for community safety, likened the restructure to the cost-saving reorganisation of policing last year by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) at a cabinet meeting last Wednesday (July 23).

Those changes have led Hampstead residents to plead for an increased police presence on their streets in the wake of spate of robberies following the closure of Hampstead police station a year ago.

Cllr Simpson said: “I think it’s very unfortunate... that the Mayor has decided to really run scared of proper scrutiny and has suggested a real change in the composition of the London Fire Authority, similar to the changes suggested for MOPAC which really have undermined community confidence and their ability to respond to local need.”

The former Camden mayor added that Mr Johnson “doesn’t like” proper scrutiny following the fierce opposition to fire station closures, including Belsize Fire Station, last year.

The Mayor proposed that there should be four more mayor-appointed members and two fewer democratically-elected councillors from London boroughs sitting on the LFEPA.

The authority is currently made up of eight London Assembly members, which would reduce to six under the changes, seven London borough councillors and two mayoral representatives.

Cllr Hai said: “I think it makes a mockery of the democratic process where you’ve got to have proper accountability and hear different perspectives and different views.

“I think it’s almost working like a dictatorship and there’s no say. My worst fear is that will put public safety at risk, and people in that room will just say what he wants to hear rather than standing up for Londoners.”

The council has submitted a formal objection to the changes to the department for communities and local government.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said: “The Mayor was elected on one of the largest personal mandates in the country and, unlike the members of the Fire Authority, he is directly accountable to Londoners.

“The proposed changes to the Fire Authority will ensure a more effective decision-making process that better reflects the Mayor’s mandate and will help to achieve a more robust and stable fire service for London, which operates within its funding constraints.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

48 minutes ago
File photo dated 06/05/10 of a voter placing a ballot paper in the ballot box at a polling station, as each general election could become a nation holiday that has been endorsed by MPs as part of a package of reforms to boost turnout.

Parliamentary candidates and famous local residents have backed a campaign urging Hampstead and Kilburn constituents to ensure they are registered to vote in next month’s nail-biting general election.

07:00
Zakaria Fellah after the unprovoked attack

A Canadian tourist was left unconscious and drenched in his own blood after being headbutted in the face on a Belsize Park street.

Yesterday, 17:00
Mini Mozart Protestwith Clare-Louise Shaw  outside The Venue in the O2 Centre after the their last class. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A popular toddler group which plays classical music to Hampstead’s babies has been banished from its new home after being embroiled in a bitter row with another pre-school club.

Yesterday, 16:20
Mayor of Camden at Celebration lunch for students of Children and Young Peoples Workforce course at Sidings Community Centre. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A new education programme allowing mothers in West Hampstead to study close to their homes has celebrated a 100 per cent success rate.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder