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More cash cuts coming that could signal closure of Wirral fire stations
FIRE stations in Wirral could be merged as the service faces further cuts in Government funding.
Merseyside fire authority asked for detailed plans to be drawn up for the potential merger of stations in Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens when it met today.
West Kirby fire services could potentially merge with those in Upton at a new base in Greasby.
Councillor Dave Hanratty, chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “We have had the worst funding cuts of any fire service in the country.
“Announcements for 2015 and 2016 indicate we will have to make further multi-million pound cuts.
“With the financial pressures from Government now expected to continue to as far ahead as 2020, we have to make ourselves more efficient and make the very best use of resources”.
Once specific plans have been approved, the authority put them out for consultation with local communities.
Commenting on the budget situation face by Merseyside Fire and rescue service, Oxton Liberal Democrat councillor Stuart Kelly said: “This is clearly and area were Government has got it wrong any distribution of resources that leaves Merseyside with the largest reductions is not equitable and needs to be challenged.
However, Cllr Stuart Kelly also pointed out that significant savings can be made if the authority looks at itself.
He said: "It is never the less outrageous that the cost of the board of the fire service costs over £250,000 a year in councillors allowances alone.
"These are inflated amounts for the job been done and the members of this authority need to bring themselves into line with the other Merseyside Joint Boards who don't pay anywhere near the level of allowances paid to fire authority members."
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