Muhammed Butt's office has sent me the following statement. Please note that the 8 fatalities in Brent last year included the mother and five children who died in the Neasden house fire. Reports at the time said that the fire service was alerted at 00.50 and were fighting the fire 'around' 01.00 and it was under control by 02.50. Firefighters from Willesden, West Hampstead, North Kensington and Park Royal fire stations attended.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, has spoken out angrily today against Coalition cuts to fire services in Brent. Cllr Butt’s comments came as it was revealed that the fire service missed its own target of attending the scene of a fire within 6 minutes in 41% of callouts in Brent. Cllr Butt is extremely concerned that Brent had by far the highest number of fire fatalities in London during 2011/12.
Of 2,384 fire service callouts since January 2012, 988 (or 41%) missed the fire service’s own 6 minute response time target. David Cameron has said that the key issue for the fire service is how long it takes to attend an incident.
In 2011/12 there were 8 fire fatalities in Brent, by far the highest of any London Borough. The next highest was Southwark with 5 fatalities, and most the London Boroughs had only 1. During the same period there were a total of 47 fatalities across London.
Cllr Butt, Leader of Brent Council said,
“I have huge respect for our fire men and women and the extremely difficult job they do, and these cuts to fire services are an absolute disgrace. Cameron, Teather, Boris and co are acting with complete disregard for the lives of Brent residents.
“They must scrap their plans to cut fire services in Brent even further immediately. Sarah Teather must stand firmly on the side of her residents against her Government on this issue. How can they give money to millionaires while their cuts are causing preventable deaths in our poorest communities?”
Barry Gardiner, Member of Parliament for Brent North said: