Gareth Bacon AM: Mr Mayor, that was terribly entertaining, of course. However, to pick up on a couple of points as a prelude to my question, the reason that the nine stations Mr Dismore [Andrew Dismore AM] referred to were off the run is because there was a shortage of officers. It had nothing to do with second appliances. He knows this very well because he put exactly that question to the Commissioner [Ron Dobson CBE QFSM, Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, London Fire Brigade] last week at the Fire Authority and received that answer.
He also referred to ignoring the public consultation, but 0.02% of Londoners responded to the consultation, Mr Mayor. As he well knows because it was his Government that passed the legislation, consultations are not referenda; they are consultations.
He mentioned also the 13 appliances and talked about how alternative funding was there available for it. Again, as he well knows, this funding is short-term funding. It is little pockets of unspent funding that will last for 12 months.
The question, Mr Mayor, is: do you think that Labour’s ‘magic money tree’ will soon be sending volumes of cash to the fire service and that we should take the leap of using one-off pots of funding to fund ongoing revenue commitments or not?