Police and fire cuts condemned by Tower Hamlets

By Rob Virtue on January 25, 2013 4:16 PM |

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Boris Johnson's proposed cuts to emergency services has been condemned by Tower Hamlets in a full council meeting.

A motion by the Labour group to oppose the closure of half the police stations and Bow fire station was voted for by the borough's councillors on Wednesday evening.

The planned cuts - part of a London-wide restructuring - will also see six police officers in safer neighbourhood teams cut to two, at a time when crime has risen for the last three consecutive years in Tower Hamlets.

Labour's spokesman for a Safer Borough, Cllr Abdal Ullah, said: "We will be inviting the police and fire borough commanders to the next council meeting to address residents and councillors' concerns about the future of emergency services in Tower Hamlets as well as continuing our campaign to stop these cuts coming into force. "

Labour also attacked Conservative councillors who refused to vote against Boris Johnson's plans, especially with the Isle of Dogs - the Conservative stronghold - due to lose its police station at Island Gardens.

In response, a statement was released by the Conservatives defending the decision.

It said: "Island residents were told by Ken Livingstone and the last Labour Government that the Isle of Dogs' police premises was not a designated police station because it was not built with cells to hold prisoners.

"After a local campaign, opening hours at the front desk were extended, but few people actually went there; Limehouse Police Station becoming the main point of access, because of its extended opening hours."

It added Conservative councillors would be seeking assurances for the long-term future of Limehouse station.

The mayor has proposed £65m cuts to the London Fire Brigade and over £300m cuts to the Met Police budget in the face of austerity measures.