No council tax cut would mean 'more fire engines for Richmond', claims London Assembly member Stephen Knight

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Extra engine: But response times must also improve Extra engine: But response times must also improve

Richmond would be getting two extra fire engines if council tax was not being cut, Greater London Authority (GLA) member Stephen Knight has claimed.

Coun Knight, also the leader of the opposition at Richmond Council, said if Boris Johnson was not introducing a 10 per cent reduction in the GLA portion of council tax, which saves Londoners 7p per week, proposed fire cuts would not be necessary.

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, the political body that runs London Fire Brigade (LFB), is consulting on plans intended to save £28.8m.

Plans include closing 12 fire stations, removing 18 fire engines, relocating four fire engines and reducing the number of fire fighter posts by 520. Twickenham will gain one fire engine.

Coun Knight said: “If there was not this bit shaved off the council tax that’s not even noticeable we would not be faced with having to make any of these cuts.

“If we were not cutting the overall number of fire engines in London we would not be getting one fire engine, but two fire engines.

“It’s not about shaving bits off the council tax it’s about keeping Londoners safe.”

LFB funding is 50 per cent funded by Government grant and 27 per cent by council tax.

Just a handful of people turned out to the meeting on the future of the fire service in Kingston and Richmond boroughs on June 4.

Fire chiefs told residents Twickenham’s response times for the second engine would need to speed up by one minute 20 seconds.

Andy Cane, Richmond borough commander, said the plans seemed positive for Richmond.

He said: “The process is still running so it has a long way to go but the proposals, if they transpire, could be better for the borough.”

The consultation runs until June 17 and is available from london-fire.gov.uk/LSP5.asp.

Comments (4)

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7:05pm Tue 11 Jun 13

metis says...

'Twickenham gains extra fire engine despite no rise in council tax'
Perhaps a less disingenuous headline.
'Twickenham gains extra fire engine despite no rise in council tax' Perhaps a less disingenuous headline. metis
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Tue 11 Jun 13

Concerned_Resident says...

You could have just about anything you want if there was the money. This is a non-story.
You could have just about anything you want if there was the money. This is a non-story. Concerned_Resident
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Tue 11 Jun 13

PhillipTaylor says...

Story or non-story, most people will welcome a cut in the very high level of Council Tax we pay here, so thank you Boris.

The Liberals are always keen to increase taxes but in these austere times, a cut would be appreciated by many hard-pressed voters, however small.

Phillip Taylor
Story or non-story, most people will welcome a cut in the very high level of Council Tax we pay here, so thank you Boris. The Liberals are always keen to increase taxes but in these austere times, a cut would be appreciated by many hard-pressed voters, however small. Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Tue 11 Jun 13

Teddington Resident says...

Obviously Councillor Knight wants to pay more council tax in which case I think he should. He may find in one of the most expensive boroughs in the country that he is in a very small minority of people.

I'm looking for year on year cuts in council tax until it is down to a sensible level and comparable with other boroughs and will do my best to make sure that the party Councillor Knight remains out of power for the foreseeable future to help ensure that happens.
Obviously Councillor Knight wants to pay more council tax in which case I think he should. He may find in one of the most expensive boroughs in the country that he is in a very small minority of people. I'm looking for year on year cuts in council tax until it is down to a sensible level and comparable with other boroughs and will do my best to make sure that the party Councillor Knight remains out of power for the foreseeable future to help ensure that happens. Teddington Resident
  • Score: 0

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