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Dockhead will lose a fire engine

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority is to press ahead with plans to withdraw one of the two fire engines based at Dockhead fire station in Bermondsey.

The London Safety Plan was approved at Thursday's meeting of the authority at City Hall. The LFEPA is chaired by Southwark & Lambeth London Assembly member Val Shawcross.

Firefighters from across London held a demonstration outside City Hall to protest at the redeployment of ten fire appliances from central London to outlying boroughs.

Manchester Square station in Westminster will close completely, and Dockhead fire station in Bermondsey will have one of its two fire engines withdrawn.

"This is the wrong decision and flies in the face of the strong views of the people of Bermondsey," said local MP Simon Hughes."There may be a strong argument for a better fire cover in outer London. But there are ways of providing this without cutting the fire service in Dockhead and other parts of inner London."

He added: "This issue has not gone away. There are six months before these plans take effect in September. I shall now work with the local council, local people and local fire fighters to see what we can do to change these plans."

Val Shawcross said: "We are introducing major changes to make London safer and will focus harder than ever on our message that prevention is better than cure. The Second London Safety Plan builds on the successful community fire safety work our firefighters are already doing, which is making a real difference, and we will improve our emergency response to incidents across the capital.”

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