On Friday, Brent Council Leader Muhammed Butt paid tribute to local residents, firemen and Navin Shah AM for helping him successfully campaign to prevent London Mayor Boris Johnson from closing two of Brent’s three fire stations – for now.
Friday’s report from the London Fire Brigade showed that Willesden and Harlesden Fire Stations were not among the 12 stations to be closed due to government cut backs, despite them being previously considered for closure.
This would have left only Wembley Fire Station to struggle to deliver emergency services to Brent’s 311,000 residents, putting thousands of lives at risk.
Cllr Butt led a public campaign against the proposed closures, highlighting that the biggest cuts would fall in the most deprived areas of London.
Cllr Butt expressed huge relief about Boris Johnson’s U-turn on fire station closures in Brent, but cautioned that this victory might only be temporary, as many more government cuts are on the way.
He said, ‘This is a great relief for Brent – the proposed closure of two of our three fire stations would have put enormous strain on the fire services and endangered thousands of lives.
‘It is thanks to our local campaign and the help of Navin Shah AM that we have been able to send Boris Johnson a clear message – this cut is unacceptable.
‘However, we must not get complacent – many more cuts are on the way, and you only have to look at the devastating cuts in stations and fire engines in other parts of London to see that the Tories won’t hesitate to cut emergency services if they get the chance. I’ll do everything I possibly can to protect our most vulnerable residents but it’s going to be a tough year.’