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Bin collection cuts 'a fire risk'

Changing rubbish collections could lead to more fires and divert the attention of firefighters from life-saving work, it has been warned.

Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority said there was a "real danger" that if fortnightly bin collections were introduced in the capital it would increase the number of fires which would risk lives and cost the taxpayer dear.

The fire authority said it was concerned that councils would introduce fortnightly bin collections in London to save money as part of the spending cuts, warning of increased fly-tipping and malicious fires.

Mr Coleman said: "Working with local people and local councils, the brigade has been successful in reducing the number of rubbish fires in London.

"However, there is a real danger that if fortnightly bin collections were introduced it would increase the number of fires which will risk lives and cost the taxpayer dear.

"Rubbish, refuse and other materials left outside are often maliciously set alight and even now we still attend over 8,000 calls each year.

"The brigade wants to cut this number further but will be hampered by a short sighted, short term, quick fix solution that could increase the overall bill to the taxpayer."

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