Union chiefs brand Wirral fire station merger bid as 'vandalism'

Wirral Globe: Union chiefs hit out at fire station merger bid Union chiefs hit out at fire station merger bid

PLANS to merge fire stations in Wirral have been branded by union leaders as "vandalism."

If the plans get through public consultation, fire stations in West Kirby and Upton will be closed and a new centre built in Greasby.

In total, 66 firefighting posts will go across Merseyside in a bid to reduce spending by £6.5m in 2015/16.

Mark Rowe, Fire Brigade Union secretary for Merseyside, condemned the decision.

He said: “They talk about merging fire stations – but we call it vandalism.

“There is no other name for closing fire stations and sacking firefighters.

“I hope the Government can live with their consciences, especially after the dreadful events in Glasgow last weekend.

“There is no doubt Government is to blame for decisions taken to keep accountants happy and without regard to the safety of ordinary men and women.”

The plans were voted through on Tuesday by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority.

Chairman Cllr Dave Hanratty said Merseyside has suffered the most severe funding cuts in the country.

He said: “We have reached the point where we cannot continue without reducing the number of stations we operate.

“The Government is indicating cuts will continue until 2020, so we have to start making plans for structural changes now.”

Included in the controversial shake-up are proposals for Knowsley, Huyton and Whiston stations to merge into a single unit in Prescot, and for a new fire station to be built in St Helens town centre, replacing Parr Stocks and Eccleston.

What do you think about the decision to merge Wirral’s fire stations?

Email emma.rigby@nqnw.co.uk or call 0151 649 4018.

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