Dismore refuses to preside over Boris’s fire engine cuts

Andrew Dismore, the Labour London Assembly Member, today resigned as the chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’s resources committee, refusing to preside over Tory Mayor Boris Johnson’s latest cuts to the fire service.

Andrew Dismore: rejected Johnson's dictatorial approach

Assembly Member Andrew Dismore: rejected Johnson’s “dictatorial approach”

Dismore’s resignation comes after the Mayor of London instructed the Fire Authority to axe permanently 13 fire engines in order to make £9 million savings.

Dismore said the Mayor’s “dictatorial approach” betrayed his “utter disdain for proper democratic process”.

This latest round of cuts will impact three fire stations south of the River Thames, and comes after a previous round of cuts to the Fire Brigade forced the closure of 10 fire stations, cutting of 14 fire engines and made more than 500 firefighters redundant, prompting widespread concern about response times and fire safety in London.

Johnson’s instruction comes despite 82 per cent of Londoners supporting alternative proposals from Dismore, which protected frontline services whilst delivering the savings to the Fire Authority’s 2016-2017 budget, demanded by the Mayor.

“Boris Johnson’s dictatorial approach in forcing through these cuts betrays his utter disdain for proper democratic process,” said Dismore, the London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden.

“The Mayor’s determination to force through cuts to the frontline shows a disregard for the safety of Londoners and their objection to his cuts. His is a budget I am not prepared to implement and I therefore resign with immediate effect.”

Labour’s leader on the London Fire Authority, Fiona Twycross, who lives in Croydon, also appealed directly to the Mayor to roll back his cuts, suggesting underspends to keep some of the 13 engines the Mayor wants to cut.

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