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 Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

10:30

The headteacher of a private school believes that sport in school should be used to engage the majority rather than burnish the few amidst reports that not enough young people are doing enough exercise each week.

07:00

Simon Happily is an award-winning comedian who comperes the annual Pup Aid event in Primrose Hill and hosts his fun weekly pub quiz at the Lord Palmerston (Dartmouth Park Hill) every Tuesday at 8.15pm. He has appeared on television including Richard & Judy and The Big Breakfast on Channel 4 and has hosted comedy as various festivals, including London Mardi Gras. Simon lives in Belsize Park with his rescue dog Teddy. You can follow him on Twitter @SimonHappily.

Yesterday, 19:06

A petition to save the number 13 bus route has been handed to City Hall by Hampstead and Kilburn Labour Party campaigners - setting up local members for a clash with Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has the final say on proposed changes.

Yesterday, 18:00

A church community centre is considering stepping up security after its post office was raided for the second time this year.

Yesterday, 15:00

Sadiq Khan will carry out a wide-reaching inquiry into foreign companies buying property in the capital - amid concern the flood of investment has fuelled rocketing house prices in local boroughs.

Yesterday, 13:06

The Ham and High can today reveal the filthiest local restaurants and takeaways which officials say need “urgent improvement”

Yesterday, 13:00

A police officer will not face criminal charges after being filmed repeatedly striking a man with his baton during an arrest even though the police watchdog found he has a case to answer.

Yesterday, 11:38

Firearms officers raced to Prince of Wales Road in Kentish Town on Thursday evening to reports a man had been gunned down.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now