A COUNCILLOR has called for Government intervention to halt plans to close Wallasey Fire Station overnight as part of budget-saving measures.

The reduction in opening hours forms part Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service's Integrated Risk Management Plan for 2017-2020, which was approved after extensive public consultation.

Due to come into effect next year, it will see wholetime crewing at the Mill Lane site between 8.30am and 8.30pm, with retained crewing overnight on a 30-minute recall.

Incidents in Wallasey overnight will be covered by staff from Birkenhead and soon-to-be-built Saughall Massie Community Fire Stations.

Liscard councillor Janette Williamson, in whose ward Wallasey fire station is situated, said changing opening times could put residents' lives at risk and urged the Government to step in immediately and properly fund the service.

Cllr Williamson added: "Merseyside Fire and Rescue has lost a number of fire engines since 2011, and ongoing closure and mergers of local fire stations is impacting safety and response times.

"Brave fire fighters go out every day and put their lives on the line for others. Safety is their number one priority.

"Meanwhile, Tory Ministers are putting the lives of residents in Wallasey at risk by moving the first response services out of Mill Lane, increasing response times.

"Labour councillors in Wallasey are opposing this decision and have written to the Fire Minister urging him to urgently intervene. "

A spokeswoman for Merseyside Fire & Rescue told the Globe: "Retained crews will be called to duty overnight if the number of fire appliances drops below a predetermined level, in order to provide support and resilience.

"These proposals are a direct response to the ongoing cuts to Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority's budget, which continue until 2020.

"It is the least worst option available to the Authority in order to manage the cuts."

A representative from the Fire Brigades Union said: "Since 2010 Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has been under attack from successive Conservative led governments and as a result the FBU believe we have now reached crisis point on Merseyside and we are unable to sustain any further reduction in fire cover."

Labour MP for Wallasey, Angela Eagle, added: "By 2020, budgets cuts to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service will result in nearly 400 less firefighters.

"This, is in addition to the number of fire engines which have already been reduced from 42.

"The Tory government's austerity cuts are putting lives at risk and it is crucial that they all the Merseyside Fire and Rescue service the resources they need to protect our communities."