On Thursday members of London’s fire authority will meet to discuss – for probably the last time – the formal adoption of London Safety Plan 5, which includes proposals to cut 10 fire stations and 14 fire engines.
After Boris ordered them to go ahead and implement the Plan, authority members opposed to the cuts sought legal advice on the viability of a Judicial Review into Boris’s power of direction.
The authority’s lawyers advised that no grounds existed for a challenge.
Unhappy with that advice, Boris’s opponents succeeded in getting support to seek a second opinion which, I’m told, was even stronger in its stance that the Mayor’s power to direct members and his use of it was beyond challenge.
That all amounts to a win for the Mayor, but at cost to the taxpayer of several thousand pounds incurred by those asking for time to find savings in the budget so they can stave off the cuts.
Authority members have done a good job of testing and challenging the plans, but it looks like all options have now been exhausted.
Expect some glum faces at Brigade HQ tomorrow as members bow to the inevitable and vote to implement the cuts.