Brent and Harrow
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Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News for October 2012

Emergency services in Brent and Harrow are being “devastated”

Emergency services are being “devastated” in Brent and Harrow with Londoners’ lives being put at risk. The proposed closures in Brent are Willesden Fire Station, Willesden Green Police Station and Central Middlesex Hospital. Harrow has lost 18.7% number of officers since 2010. Other emergency services affected in Harrow would in theory be Stanmore Fire Station. I supported a motion at last Wednesday’s London Assembly meeting calling on Boris “to reconsider and abandon his own draconian cuts to the emergency services” to keep Londoners safe.

Across London, blue-light services are being threatened:

  • The London Fire Brigade is facing steep cuts due to the government cutting the fire budget by 25% - £65million in total
  • London Ambulance Service will lose £53million (19%) of it’s budget by 2015/16, resulting in 890 job cuts, of which 560 will be frontline staff
  • The Metropolitan Police is being cut by 12% and has already lost 1,777 police officers and 1,800 PCSOs in the past two years
  • A&Es will be forced to cater for an extra 120,000 residents on average each. In 2010 there were 32 A&E departments in London, but only 24 would remain under these plans.

I am concerned about what’s happening to our frontline services. When we do complain about what’s happening to the NHS, our fire and police services, it’s because we care what happens to these frontline services, which have an impact on people’s lives.

We’re seeing the unacceptable and dangerous face of deep cuts. The Mayor has tried to duck and dive when questioned directly about cuts to the NHS but he has direct responsibility for the fire and police services so has to take responsibility for the closure of fire and police stations and the loss of police officers on his watch. The cuts are going too far and too fast and will inevitably endanger families and communities across the capital.

I am calling on the Mayor to consider the effects of these devastating cuts on Londoners’ safety. The closures of police front desks, fire stations and A & E departments will mean various pockets of London could see the safety of residents threatened by longer response times.



1. The 32 A&E’s served a population of 8.17million Londoners, an average of 255,000 people each. Reducing to 24 A&Es will mean they have to cover 340,000 each, with London’s population due to rise to 9million by 2020. This will increase the number of people each A&E is due to cover to 375,000 residents - an increase of 120,000 for each A&E. This assumes that no further closures take place.

2.    The motion passed on Wednesday 24 October read:

“This Assembly believes that the safety and security of Londoners is being put at risk as a result of cuts to emergency services being pushed through by the Mayor and the Coalition Government to the key emergency services – the Metropolitan Police Service, the London Fire Brigade alongside the London Ambulance Service and the city’s Accident & Emergency Departments.

The Assembly believes that the cuts are going too far and too fast and that the many millions of pounds being taken from the budgets of the NHS, the Metropolitan Police Service and the London Fire Brigade will inevitably endanger families and communities across the capital.

This Assembly believes that the cuts, from these various budget streams, are being carried out without strategic consideration of their aggregate effects on Londoners’ safety or the geography of blue light coverage. The closures of police front desks, fire stations and A & E departments will mean various pockets of London could see the safety of residents threatened by longer response times.

This Assembly recognises the strategic, metropolitan perspective of the Mayor of London and Greater London Authority and challenges his acceptance of these cuts as an economic necessity, with little information or regard for the safety consequences. This Assembly calls on the Mayor to commission strategic research into the formation of blue light black holes, to stand up for Londoners against the cuts being imposed by the Coalition Government and to reconsider and abandon his own draconian cuts to the emergency services on which we rely to keep Londoners safe.”

The webcast for the London Assembly meeting where the motion was passed on Wednesday 24 October 2012 can be watched here:

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30th October 2012

Who’s going to save the emergency services?

I questioned Mayor of London Boris Johnson about NorthWest London A&E closures and London’s vital emergency services at Mayor’s Question Time this week. Londoners are facing a dramatic reduction in Police, Fire, Ambulance and A&E provision in the capital due to central government cuts.

I asked the Mayor if he supported Brent residents in their campaign to keep Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E department open. The Mayor refused to commit his support despite his direct role in the London Health Improvement Board and health inequalities in the capital.

The Mayor was challenged over his failure to speak up for the NHS in London and protect A&E departments from closure. Despite repeatedly campaigning for tax cuts for millionaires the Mayor has refused to lobby government to keep A&E units open as he says it is outside of his remit.

The Mayor of London was also challenged on:

 * The London Fire Brigade is facing the loss of up to 30 stations, 30 appliances and hundreds of firefighters.

* The Metropolitan Police have already lost 1,444 police officers and 1,960 PCSOs in the past two years. With a £230million budget black-hole this will increase. 

* London is set to lose 7 of it’s 31 A&E departments, leaving the remaining 24 to cover an an extra 120,000 residents each.

I am dismayed by the way the mayor has disenfranchised the residents and stakeholders in London on the matter of NHS changes and A&E closures in London. At Mayor’s Question Time Boris denied any responsibility or support for the hundreds and thousands of residents who are campaigning and genuinely concerned about the closure of the A&Es in their area.

London’s emergency services are facing a crisis, the police, fire brigade, ambulance and A&E departments are all being cut back. This will leave London with less blue-light coverage. At a time when London’s emergency services are already stretched this simply does not make sense. London’s population is also forecast to grow to 9 million people - how will the emergency services cope?


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18th October 2012