England

Two fire authorities to shed posts in control rooms merger

Twenty-five posts are to go when West Midlands and Staffordshire fire authorities merge control centres.

The move will see all 999 calls handled from a single centre from next year.

The two authorities were awarded £3.6m from the government to create the shared control room after signing a formal partnership in 2011.

There are currently 101 posts at the two centres and the authorities said some of the 25 to be axed are already vacant.

In a joint statement the heads of both authorities said: "A shared fire control service between Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authorities is preparing to 'go live' in 2014.

"There are currently 101 posts in total across the two control centres.

"It is proposed that this will be reduced to 76 roles when the new shared fire control centre is operational.

"Staffing levels will be reviewed 12 months later.

"Some of the 25 posts that will be lost are currently vacant and members of staff may be given the option of voluntary redundancy or redeployment."

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