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Firefighters march on Union Street against cuts

London SE1 website team

Hundreds of firefighters marched across London Bridge and through the streets of Bankside on Thursday in protest against planned station closures and job losses.

Firefighters march on Union Street against cuts
Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council
Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council
Firefighters march on Union Street against cuts
Simon Hughes MP said that the "hidden agenda" behind the cuts was the sale of valuable sites like Southwark Fire Station
Firefighters march on Union Street against cuts
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack urged Simon Hughes to tell his Lib Dem government colleagues Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander to stop cutting public services

The protest – called by the Fire Brigades' Union – was held to coincide with a crucial meeting of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to decide on the draft London Safety Plan.

Measures in the plan include the closure of Southwark Fire Station in Southwark Bridge Road.

Southwark Labour leader Peter John, community safety cabinet member Richard Livingstone and prospective parliamentary candidate Neil Coyle all joined the march, as did Lib Dem Cathedrals ward councillors Adele Morris and David Noakes.

Led by an FBU-sponsored pipe and drum band from Humberside, the march crossed London Bridge and made its way along Southwark Street and Blackfriars Road to reach the London Fire Brigade headquarters in Union Street.

Speakers at a rally in Union Street included Cllr Peter John and Simon Hughes MP.

Mr Hughes praised firefighters at Southwark Fire Station for their detailed response to the recent public consultation on the cuts to fire services in London.

He also warned that the "hidden agenda" behind the closure of stations such as Southwark was the sale of the valuable land they sit on.

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