Protest over sell-off of fire station

Councillors with MP Meg Hillier outside Kingsland fire station

Councillors with MP Meg Hillier outside Kingsland fire station - Credit: Archant

Ten councillors stood at the doors of the defunct Kingsland Road Fire Station with MP Meg Hillier and other campaigners last Saturday to protest their concern at the closure and sell-off of the building.

In a joint statement, the councillors said they were extremely concerned at the loss not only of “a precious community asset”, but also the resulting 50 per cent increase in waiting time for engines to arrive from elsewhere to de Beauvoir.

“We are grateful to Meg for uncovering what was intended to be a secret sell-off of our building and to the Gazette for helping to expose the truth last week,” said De Beauvoir councillor James Peters.

Last week the Gazette reported that the sale was close to completion, after agents Dron and Wright confirmed the property was no longer available because the sale was “in the solicitor’s hands”

Meg said: ‘Our message to the Tory Mayor Boris Johnson who is busy selling off everything to make up for his poor budgeting skills is - stop selling off our family silver and start finding ways to maintain and increase our safety and well-being.”

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “We are ensuring we are maximising our return on the sale of former fire stations. Once the transactions are completed, the money raised from the sale of the buildings will be reinvested back into the Brigade.

”Across the Capital we are still within our London-wide targets to get a first fire engine to an incident on average within 6 minutes and a second within 8 minutes. This is despite 13 engines being removed as part of the contingency service and 9 stations being rebuilt. The figures are very close to what we predicted in the Fifth London Safety Plan and in many wards where response times have increased, they have done so by less than fifteen seconds.”