The Mayor, Boris Johnson, is challenged over planned closures of police station front counters and cuts to London Fire Brigade. More than 30 fire stations are earmarked for closure due to a budget shortfall of £50million.
Boris: 'It's my job to ensure we have better policing'
by Simon Harris
When Boris faced a full frontal assault at Mayor's Question Time over police station closures, he said:
It's my job to ensure we have better policing in this city and bring down crime.
– London Mayor Boris Johnson
He defended pop-up front counters as "creative solutions for the police estate", adding that there was no final plan. But he did say that when there is an agreed proposal "of course I will front that up".
Labour Assembly members claim police chiefs are being bounced into agreeing closures without proper consultation.
Boris defends closure of police station front counters
by Simon Harris
Mayor of London Boris Johnson was asked at Mayor's Question Time to defend the closure of police station front counters. Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon said one in four rapes are reported at front counters.
Pidgeon asked if it is right for rape victims to report offences at "pop-up stalls in the coffee shop at Asda". Johnson described Pidgeon's comments as cynical and said the public will regard new front counters as "innovative".
Labour's Andrew Dismore said Hampstead police station will be replaced by a 4-hours-a-week counter in Costa Coffee.
Dismore angrily accused Johnson of "ducking" responsibility.
Boris said: "You are entitled to bust a blood vessel."
The Mayor told Dismore he shouldn't "fetishise bricks and mortar".