Liverpool

Merseyside Fire Service to shed 103 jobs to save £3.7m

More than 100 jobs are to be axed from the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to make savings of of £3.7m over three years.

The losses are part of a £9m budget reduction imposed by the fire authority in February to meet government cuts to its grants.

Second pumps at five fire stations will be mothballed as part of the savings.

The authority has already cut back office services by £1.5m and has imposed a three-year pay freeze.

It said the job cuts would be achieved through voluntary redundancies and retirements.

The introduction of new rotas at the fire service's mobilising centre is predicted to save £400,000 through doing away with nine staff and one management post.

'Very unhappy'

The marine rescue unit will also lose seven of its 15 staff, saving £100,000.

Almost £3m will be saved through second pumps at Old Swan, Crosby, Toxteth, Speke and Wallasey being put into "dynamic reserve", which means they will no longer be in daily use.

Group manager posts will be reduced from 10 to eight and station managers from 20 to 16, the fire authority said.

Tony Newman, chair of the fire authority, said: "These changes have to be made in response to the substantial reduction in money we will receive from government over the next two years.

"More than 80% of our costs are people so the reduction in our staff numbers is the only way to save such large amounts.

"I'm very unhappy and disappointed that we have to reduce our workforce but I'm pleased that we are managing it without any compulsory redundancies.

"Government has already warned us even bigger cuts in our grant are expected in coming years so we have to make these changes now."

The authority said incidents dropped from 37,000 in 2000 to 22,000 in 2010.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites