Firefighters at Battersea Fire Station opt for voluntary redundancy

Wandsworth Guardian: Firefighters from Clapham Fire Station Firefighters from Clapham Fire Station

Twelve firefighter positions are set to be lost from Battersea Fire Station after a dozen opted for voluntary redundancy.

The cuts are being made by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to save £28m outlined in the Fifth London Safety Plan, which came into effect on Thursday.

Earlier this year Clapham Fire Station, in Old Town, Clapham, was threatened with closure alongside 12 others across the capital.

However, in an apparent u-turn the LFB revised plans to shut the station but instead removed a fire engine.

Twelve firefighters from Battersea Fire Station, in Este Road, Battersea, also opted for voluntary redundancy.

Letters offering redundancy were sent to 588 firefighters across the capital and it is believed more than 200 could take up the offer.

There have been no compulsory redundancies across the service.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have said they are concerned about the staffing levels on fire rescue units at Battersea.

Dave Waterman, south west area chairman of the FBU, said: "These positions are lost as a result of the reduction in crewing on fire rescue units that have historically ran five fire fighters, now reduced to four.

"There is a question now of the safe systems at work on the technical rescue systems, where in Battersea was a speciality."

A spokesman for the LFB said: "The brigade asked staff in November 2013 whether they would be interested in taking voluntary redundancy.

"Eighty five operational staff have accepted a severance offer and a decision on whether or not to approve their release with a  last day of service of March 31, 2014 will be taken on January 20.

"There have not been, nor will there be, any compulsory redundancies amongst operational staff arising from the implementation of the changes agreed in the London Safety Plan."

 

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