Valerie Shawcross, Chair of the London Fire Authority and AM for Lambeth and Southwark yesterday denied claims by Conservatives that paying cleaners at the London Living Wage rate of £7.20 per hour would mean the closure of 4 fire stations.
Ms Shawcross claimed the cost of the increase would be “less than the amount to run one fire engine a year” adding “there will be no need to cut London Fire Brigade Services to meet this cost.”
“Last year on the accounts which came to all Members at the same meeting we reported that the London Fire Brigade had a £16 million pound surplus.”
Earlier this week Brian Coleman, the LFEPA’s Vice Chairman, warned that the increase in pay could see four stations close.
“Paying London Fire Station cleaners the London Living wage of £7.20, as Labour’s Val Shawcross suggested, is just ridiculous. A wage hike to those levels is equivalent to the cost of running four stations.”
“If we went ahead with this pay deal, the money would have to come from somewhere and she needs to say where. Do we close four fire stations to pay for it?”