Union slams planned cuts to Merseyside FRS funding
27 June 2018
A CAMPAIGN is being launched by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) to stop budget cuts to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, which has seen the number of firefighters and fire appliances fall dramatically.
Current spending plans mean that between 2010 and 2020 firefighter numbers will reduce by 37 per cent from 927 to 580 and almost half of all fire appliances will be axed, which is a reduction from 42 to 22. Since 2010, there has been an overall upward trend in fire deaths in Merseyside. Between 2010/11 there were five fire deaths. This increased to 16 during 2015/16.
FBU regional secretary in North West England Mark Rowe said: “The relentless cuts to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service mean we have now passed beyond crisis point. Further cuts will result in Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service not being fit for purpose. The cuts put the public and firefighters at increased risk of serious injury, or worse, on a daily basis.”
Members of Parliament will be attending the campaign launch including Liverpool Walton MP Dan Carden. A raft of stations in Merseyside have closed, or been earmarked for closure, including West Kirby, Allerton, Whiston, Huyton, Eccleston, Upton and St Helens.
Cuts have also meant the size of fire crews has decreased to just four firefighters, rather than five, severely limiting the response they can provide at emergency incidents.