Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Ten Merseyside fire stations may be forced to close following budget cuts

17 Jul 2012
Thank goodness Fire & Polce are Devolved issues in Scotland.

Ten fire stations in Merseyside could be forced to close if the government goes ahead with planned budget cuts, it has been claimed.

Dan Stephens, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service's (MFRS) chief fire officer, warned MPs at a committee meeting that the service will have to drastically scale back its operations if the government opts to cut its funding by 12.5 per cent between 2013 and 2015, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Having already seen its budget slashed by £9 million - twice the national average - while other services have enjoyed a grant rise, MFRS has joined forces with England's other big metropolitan areas to call for fairer funding.
"The worst case scenario - if the cuts are twice the national average again - is that we would need to cut ten fire stations," Mr Stephens told the news provider.

"You don't need to be a chief fire officer to realise that will have an impact, not just on the speed that we get to incidents, but also on the quality of service that we are able to provide."

Fire chiefs from Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Midlands and Tyne and Wear, as well as Merseyside, are calling on fire minister Bob Neill to impose equal cuts when a funding decision is made in December.

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