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West Kirby and Upton fire stations approved for closure

  • 7-2-2015

Two Wirral fire stations are to close after the move was approved by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

West Kirby and Upton stations will shut, with a new station planned for Saughall Massie Road, Saughall Massie, to cover both station areas.

The fire service said it was approved "with a heavy heart", with 22 posts lost at an annual saving of £864,000.

Margaret Greenwood, Labour MP for Wirral West, said it was "very bad for the people of Wirral".

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) said the decision to merge followed a 12-week consultation, with "the majority" of those consulted agreeing it was reasonable due to financial and operational pressures.

A planning application will now be submitted for the new site, with some local residents opposing the green belt location.

'Safety implications'

Dan Stephens, MFRS chief fire officer, said: "As a direct result of the ongoing cuts to our budget, we can no longer afford to employ the current level of firefighters or keep all our fire stations open.

"As a result, we have had to make some very difficult decisions in order to maintain the best possible response times to life risk incidents in Merseyside in the circumstances."

The service said out of the options considered, the move to Saughhall Massie will have the least impact on emergency response times.

Mrs Greenwood said: "In the event of a fire or a road traffic accident, the fire service will now take longer to arrive.

"In 2010, we had 42 fire engines on Merseyside. We now have 24.

"The Conservatives are continuing the cuts, with real implications for public safety. They're cutting here what is an essential service."

The government says austerity measures are vital to cutting the deficit.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2015 BBC


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