Liverpool

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to cut 140 jobs

More than 140 posts, 90 of them firefighters jobs, are to go at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service over the next three years.

Reductions in central government grants means it has to make savings of nearly £10m over the next two years on top of £9.2m in the previous two years.

The fire authority agreed its budget at a meeting earlier.

Dave Hanratty, chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, said the cuts will affect frontline services.

'Limit direct impact'

The Labour councillor said: "We have made huge reductions in management costs and support service but the government has left us with no option but to cut our frontline services even further.

"Our firefighter numbers will reduce from 1,500 a decade ago to 760 by 2015."

He added: "Our officers have put plans in place which we are confident will limit the direct impact on our services to the community but the government can't take more than £19m out of our budget over the four years of the spending review and it not have an effect."

As well as job cuts, there will be a 33% reduction in fire appliances from 42 two years ago to 28.

The authority said all community fire stations will be kept open.

Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said it will try to "minimise the effect of the cuts".

He said: "A 33% reduction in fire appliances will affect our emergency response and our fire prevention activities but we will continue to identify ways of making ourselves more effective and efficient with fewer resources."

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