Consultation: Operational changes for budget 2016/17
Closes: 5pm, Monday 1 February 2016
The following are details of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’s public consultation on options to meet the budget for 2016/17.
The consultation is a chance for Londoners to have their say on our budget proposals and we very much hope that you will respond. Full details of the consultation and how to respond can be found on our website at: www.london-fire.gov.uk/consultation-2016-2017.asp
We are keen to publicise the consultation as widely as possible and would be grateful if you can share with colleagues, local groups or members of the public, as appropriate and wherever possible.
An overview of the consultation can also be found below:
The Brigade has been asked to make a total of £11.5m savings for the coming financial year. £5.1m has already been identified from departmental savings. At an Authority meeting on 2nd December, members of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority approved two options for public consultation to seek views on how savings of the remaining £6.4m could be made.
Both options would ensure that no fire stations close and no firefighters would be made compulsorily redundant. At the meeting on the 2nd, Members also agreed to stand down the Brigade’s contingency arrangements in light of the Fire Brigades Union’s decision to suspend their strike action over a dispute with the Government on pensions. Standing down the contingency arrangement saves the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority £1.7m and reduces the budget gap from the original £8.1m to £6.4m.
The main difference between the options is around the 13 fire engines that have been out of service for two years as part of Brigade’s strike contingency arrangements.
Option A is the option preferred by the majority of members of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. It recommends putting the 13 fire engines back into service but making savings by establishing alternate crewing at stations with some special appliances. Alternate crewing means that in stations where there is a fire engine and a special appliance such as an aerial ladder platform there would be one crew for both appliances.
Option B is recommended by the Commissioner of London Fire Brigade. It recommends the permanent removal of the 13 fire engines and reinvesting some of the savings into increasing the number of staff available to crew Fire Rescue Units (FRUs). Fire rescue units are specialist rescue vehicles. All FRUs are equipped with heavy lifting and cutting tools for use in a range of rescue scenarios and crews are trained in extended duration breathing apparatus.
Last year the number of fires was below 20,000 for the first time since records for Greater London began in 1966 and fire deaths have steadily declined since the 1980s. In 1987, there were 28.5 fire deaths per million residents compared to 3.4 per million in 2014.
The Brigade has continued to meet its London-wide average attendance time target of six minutes for a first fire engine and eight minutes for a second while the13 fire engines have been out of service. If the 13 engines were returned to service, it is believed that this would improve average London wide attendance times by around four seconds for the first engine and by around 18 seconds for the second fire engine.
The 13 fire stations that had one of their two fire engines removed in August 2013 were: Chelsea, Ealing, Erith, Forest Hill, Holloway, Old Kent Road, Plaistow, Poplar, Romford, Shoreditch, Stratford, Wandsworth and Willesden.
If you have any questions please get in touch with a member of the consultation team using the details below.
Freephone number: 0800 689 3489
169 Union Street