Jan 16 2013 By Danya Bazaraa
Fire Brigade Union members are trying to save Acton Fire Station from closure.
FEARS that Acton Fire Station could close in order to make savings have been dispelled.
The station on Gunnersbury Lane was under threat according to a document leaked back in October. But a draft London safety report, released on Friday, showed that the Acton station is not one of the 12 proposed to close down.
Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Ron Dobson is hoping to roll out the proposals later this year after a 10 week public consultation starts on Monday.
He said: "We want everyone to get involved in the consultation. We want it to be as full and thorough as possible. Like virtually every other public service, the Brigade needs to make savings. In the last four years, we have cut £52m without reducing frontline services.
"Additional savings cannot be found without making significant changes to how we keep London safe. In the last decade, demand for the Brigade's service has changed dramatically and it's time to reflect that in how our fire stations, engines and staff are organised.
"Having spent 33 years as a firefighter serving the capital I know how important it is to respond to incidents as quickly as possible and I have every intention of maintaining our current response time targets for first and second fire engines. I am confident these savings can be made while keeping London safe."
Despite Commissioner Dobson's reassurances, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has condemned the London-wide proposals.
Acton fireman and north west London secretary for the Fire Brigades Union, Dave Shek, said: "I don't want any stations to shut so we're continuing with our campaign. Closing fire stations is dangerous. I don't get where it's all coming from. At the moment the Government is spending money on new rail projects and taking that money from public services and police stations are closing too.
"They said before they wouldn't officially announce anything until the end of the year. I think they were hoping we wouldn't campaign but we've had a lot of signatures from Acton. If we have less firefighters and less fire stations we can't do our job properly."
Final decisions on the future of London's fire stations for the next two years will be made in June so the campaign continues.