MPs call for rethink on Merseyside fire service cuts

Labour MPs on Merseyside are urging the government to rethink plans to cut the budget of the county's fire service, warning it could put lives at risk.

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

A group of MPs have now signed a Commons motion arguing that the service has already made "significant efficiency savings".

The motion has been put forward by Walton MP Steve Rotheram.

It has also been signed by fellow Labour MPs Luciana Berger, Louise Ellman and George Howarth.

It reads that "planned cuts in central government grants are unsustainable and would lead to life-threatening reductions in fire cover and national resilience capacity, particularly to deal with terrorism, flooding and events arising from climatic change".

It adds that the critical role played by the fire service must not be undermined by the level of cuts to grants currently planned by the government.

The £9m budget reduction was imposed by the fire authority in February 2011, to meet government cuts to its grants.

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