Campaigners, councillors and trade unionists protested last night against the closure of Clapham Fire Station. The station has been earmarked for closure in a move which will increase emergency response times across Brixton, Clapham and other areas in Lambeth. Local residents were joined by Cllr Christopher Wellbelove and representatives from Lambeth Trade Union Congress, among others.
Chuka Umunna MP wrote in the latest Brixton Bugle (p.9) of his support for the campaign, stating that he is ‘determined to fight as hard as possible against this cut.’ The campaigners now plan to hand in a petition which has over 1,000 signatures to the Mayor to show the strength of local opposition to the proposed closure.
Local resident Jim Edwards, who lives in a fifth floor flat in the Studley Road estate in Stockwell, said ‘If a fire breaks out in my flat it will take four fire engines and a height vehicle to tackle it. Yet the London Fire Authority only publishes response times for one or two fire engines. They seem to have no regard for the safety of people who live on estates like mine’.
Ray Sirotkin from Lambeth TUC said, ‘Lambeth trade unionists are local workers and often local residents. We need a comprehensive fire service with fast response times. We don’t know exactly when we’ll need their services but we know that we will certainly need them. And we need them to arrive quickly’.