London's Fire Service (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
November 21, 2012
Question By: 
Gareth Bacon
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Like Mr Dismore I have also read the papers that are going to the fire authority tomorrow and one of the important sections which he seems to have skated over - it is in bold so he should have seen it - states,

'The modelling work is not complete and should not be taken as representing final proposals. In particular the sensitivity analysis that officers routinely undertake to test the robustness of particular proposals has not yet been fully completed and may produce further important data.'

Do you think it is a shame that Mr Dismore is being as alarmist as he is on this, despite the fact that this very weighty document clearly states that these are not final proposals?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for London's Fire Service (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for London's Fire Service (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I think it is the job of Assembly Members to stick up for their communities and to sound the alarm where I think it needs to be sounded. I just repeat this serious point I made just now: where it is necessary to fight for local services, to fight for structures, buildings, police stations, hospitals and so on, yes I will be there on the frontline fighting for them. I will also have to ask Londoners sometimes to exercise their judgement and common sense, to accept that there may be clinicians, fire service professionals or senior police officers who think that the public can be safer and better protected under different arrangements. Sometimes that case will be necessary. I know that Labour Members have had to make that case in the past, which is one of the things you have to do when you are in government. I would just ask for people to be reasonable and exercise common sense.

Gareth Bacon (AM): Mr Dismore also refers extensively to your cuts and your proposals. Of course what is stimulating this whole debate is the pending Government settlement. Has the Government given you any indication that you will be getting more money for the fire service this year?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): There is no such indication.

Gareth Bacon (AM): In which case would you agree that this is a fairly prudent piece of modelling that is going on, preparing for the expectation that there will be less money for the fire service?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): The key thing, Gareth - and I thank you for all the work that you do - is to make sure that we continue to improve fire cover in London. If you can do that by remodelling in some way then we should. We would be completely wrong not to.

Gareth Bacon (AM): Indeed. Do you know of any fire station has put out a fire in London?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Again I do not want to fetishise buildings but there is a balance to be struck. It is important on the other side of the ledger that we do not let accountants get such a grip of the system that they do real damage to the fabric of the service. We have to have a balance. That is a point I have made to the LFEPA and to the London Fire Commissioner.

Gareth Bacon (AM): Do you agree with the Commissioner of the fire service that the most important thing is response times to incidents --

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes, absolutely.

Gareth Bacon (AM): -- and therefore accurate deployment of forces around London is what is most important here, rather than the location of the real estate?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): What matters to Londoners is that the threat of fire should continue to diminish and that the Fire Brigade should be able to get there fast and deal with the problem effectively. They are doing that. We have seen a stunning performance by LFB. I congratulate LFEPA on the support they have been able to give and that is what we want to continue to do.