LABOUR councillors took to the streets to highlight their anger over cuts being made to London’s frontline emergency services by the coalition government.
The Labour Party launched the SOS999 day of action on Monday, the same day Mayor of London Boris Johnson rejected calls to reverse proposed council tax precept cuts, which will see 12 fire stations across London closing, as well as 65 police stations and their front counters being closed.
The borough will lose Brentford Police Station and Chiswick will only be open during the day.
Hounslow Council’s ruling party councillors were out early, handing out leaflets at tube and rail stations across the borough to campaign against the cuts.
Councillor Ruth Cadbury, cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said: “People here are concerned about hospital and ambulance service cuts, about the closure of Brentford Police Station and reduced hours at Chiswick, and the cuts to Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the borough.
“People believe that Boris Johnson’s cuts are too deep, too fast and not needed. They risk the very safety and security of Londoners.
“Labour members of the London Assembly have a fully-costed plan which shows the money is there to keep frontline police stations open and keep Londoners safe.”
Liz Mammatt, Conservative deputy group leader of Hounslow Council, was angered by the Labour councillors’ reaction to the mayor’s decision.
She said: “I am astonished that Labour is criticising Boris’s 1.5 per cent reduction in the Mayor’s precept on top of last year’s cut of one per cent. The London Borough of Hounslow has benefited from the Mayor’s financial prudence with grants such as the Outer London Fund, which was £891,500 in round onr and £3m in round two.
“The taxpayer showed last year that they cannot afford to return to Ken Livingstone’s era of an increase in the precept of 152 per cent.”