Camden Council takes fire station closures fight with Boris Johnson to High Court

PUBLISHED: 14:07 27 November 2013 | UPDATED: 15:10 27 November 2013

The councils are bidding to overturn Boris Johnson's decision to close 10 fire stations across the capital. Picture: Keith Larby/

The councils are bidding to overturn Boris Johnson's decision to close 10 fire stations across the capital. Picture: Keith Larby/

(c) copyright

Camden Council and six other London councils have taken a legal challenge against fire station closures to the High Court.

Camden, Islington, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lewisham and Greenwich councils have applied for a judicial review of Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s decision to close 10 fire stations across the capital - an application made as part of a three-day hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice which began yesterday and is due to conclude tomorrow.

The councils wish to overturn the decisions by Mr Johnson, the London Fire Commissioner and London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to implement the Fifth London Safety Plan earlier this year.

In addition to the closure of two fire stations serving Camden (Belsize and Clerkenwell), the plans would lead to the closure of eight other stations, the loss of 14 fire appliances and 552 firefighter posts across London.

The councils argue that the plan does not take into account fire risk factors in 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.

They also argue that the plan would have an impact on public safety, that the Equalities Act was breached, and that the consultation process was unlawful.

Cllr Abdul Hai, Camden’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “Camden will be hit hard by the proposed cuts, with Belsize and Clerkenwell seemingly earmarked with scant regard for our communities.

“By bringing this legal action we seek to protect our communities from cuts that we believe will make our residents less safe. I believe that the thinking behind these cuts is flawed, and Camden will continue to fight for the best interests of our residents and businesses.”

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