Merseyside Fire chief Dan Stephens warns of funding cuts

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Merseyside's chief fire officer has warned of "substantial consequences" if the service's budget is cut further.

Dan Stephens said fire stations could close, fire engine numbers be reduced and firefighters made redundant if there were any future cuts in funding.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service's budget is planned to drop from £74m to £65m by 2013.

Fire authority grants for a two-year period up to 2015 are currently being calculated by the government.

Fire station closures

Mr Stephens has written a joint letter to the Government Resource Review committee with the chief fire officers of the UK's five other metropolitan areas, setting out the service changes they would have to make if funding was to be cut again.

He said: "The position statement that we've advanced to the government makes it very clear that if there are any further cuts applied there would be substantial consequences to those cuts.

"We would have to shut fire stations, substantially reduce the number of fire engines that we have available, and there is every likelihood that would result potentially in the redundancy of firefighters.

"If we were treated as we were in the the first two years of the settlement we would lose again substantially."

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