The government has been urged to stop further cuts and award a pay rise to firefighters working for the country’s “worst” hit service.

In a notice of motion to be considered by Wirral councillors next week, the UK Government is urged to end budget cuts to the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS), as well as fund a “real increase” in pay.

The fire service itself has said the cuts are “unsustainable”, but in the government’s view, Merseyside firefighters “have the resources they need to do their important work”, and there is scope for “further savings”.

In terms of the impact of cuts to MFRS, Wirral council’s motion said in the decade between 2010 and 2020, there will have been a 48% cut in the number of fire engines used by the force – from 42 to 22.

The number of fire fighters will have reduced by 37% from 927 to 580 – and support and control staff by 34% – from 507 to 309.

There will have also been a 15% cut in the number of stations, the report added – from 26 to 22.

The Home Office, responsible for the country’s fire services, is also urged to undertake a full evaluation of the impact of the cuts to date.

The notice of motion, proposed by ward councillor for Bidston and St James, Brian Kenny, said: “Council is concerned that MFRS has experienced the worst budget reductions in the whole of the country. The number of stations, engines and firefighters have all been cut drastically, thereby increasing the risk to the communities that the service works so hard to protect.”

It said the motion recognised the “excellent work” done by the service in delivering community safety and fire prevention schemes across Liverpool City Region, including Wirral.

It also said it appreciated the service had to deal with a “wide range of incidents, both speedily and effectively”, so required “diverse and appropriate resources”, adding: “MFRS also supports National Resilience and is required to respond to incidents regionally, nationally and internationally, such as terrorist threats, severe weather, flooding and any incident that may have an impact on critical infrastructure.

“MFRS delivers interventions that meet the needs of our communities including: ‘Safe and Well’ visits that target our most vulnerable residents. This Service is held in very high regard and gains access to over 50,000 homes annually, to deliver community safety interventions.”

The government should recognise the service as a body planning for risk, not demand, the motion, due to be discussed on March 19, said.

It added: “Council wishes to place on record its wholehearted thanks and appreciation for the work undertaken by MFRS, firefighters and support staff for their dedication, commitment and continuing professionalism, in keeping our communities safe.”

Chair of MFRS, Liverpool City Councillor Dave Hanratty, said: “The Fire and Rescue Authority fully supports the motion submitted to Wirral Council. The cuts suffered by the Authority are unsustainable and we call on the Government for them to be reversed.”

Liscard Cllr Janette Williamson, who seconded the motion, added: “The government needs to rethink its funding strategy, and put a stop to this damaging and ideologically-driven austerity programme which is putting community safety at risk.

“I would like to thank our brave fire fighters for their dedication and commitment under such pressure in keeping local people safe.”

In response, a Home Office spokeswoman said: “Fire and rescue services have the resources they need to do their important work. Services have delivered significant savings over the past five years but there is scope for further savings, for example through smarter working, greater collaboration and more effective procurement.

“Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service will receive a core spending power of £60.1m in 2018-19 – an increase of 0.9% compared with 2017/18. In March 2017, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service held £31.9m of non ring-fenced reserves, which is equivalent to 62% of their net expenditure.”