AROUND 400 people attended a second public meeting in Greasby tonight as part of a consultation process over the proposed fire station merger in the village.

In total, 393 heard Merseyside's chief fire officer Dan Stephens outline the plans during the, at times, heated two-hour presentation at Greasby Methodist Church Hall.

Merseyside Fire Authority is proposing to close West Kirby and Upton stations and build a new base serving both areas at Frankby Road, Greasby. The alternative is the outright closure of West Kirby fire station.

Mr Stephens' presentation was followed by an opportunity for the public to ask questions.

It was the second meeting at Greasby Methodist Church within a month. The first was oversubscribed so an extra one was arranged for those people who couldn’t attend.

Afterwards, those attending the meeting were invited to sign a petition against the proposed fire station.

Addressing the audience tonight, Mr Stephens said: "In my report to Merseyside Fire Authority, I will faithfully represent the views of people in Greasby, West Kirby and Upton.

"Merseyside Fire Authority does not have a statutory duty to keep the people of Greasby happy.

"The consultation is concerned with operational response, not planning issues.

"People have recognised why we need to make mergers; that is to make savings.

"If there was other land I would take it. The advice from planning officers at Wirral Council is that this is the only suitable site.

"The majority of people I have spoken to in Greasby recognise the logic behind the merger, but it's the site they are opposed to.

"I would work with anyone to secure another location.

"Station mergers are station closures, I'm not dressing that up to be anything other than what it is."

Last time, more than 500 concerned householders turned up at the hall to have their say over the plans, so many that the venue could not cope with the numbers and 300 had to wait outside.

It was revealed the new station would be built on the site of the village's library, which would be demolished and a smaller service built into the new complex.

It was also revealed the new building would feature a four-storey training tower.

Voicing her opposition to the proposed station, one member of the audience shouted out: "There are too many young and old people in Greasby; they do not want this."

A young member of the audience, who attends a local school in the area, made her concerns on child safety clear to Mr Stephens.

She said: "There are a lot of kids in Greasby. I cross the road everyday and I'm scared that there might be an accident, because somebody could get knocked down by a fire engine.

"This station is an accident waiting to happen."

Another member of the audience said: "There will be a judicial review if this application goes ahead. I will partly fund it myself."

The alternative is the outright closure of West Kirby fire station.

Public consultation meetings have also taken place at Woodchurch Leisure Centre and Hoylake Community Centre.

The consultation ends in the first week of January.

Addressing the audience at the end of tonight's meeting, Greasby Conservative councillor Wendy Clements said: "Dan has told us what needs to be done. The only problem we've got is that we don't want a fire station in Greasby.

"We're starting a petition and are calling for the council to stop this."