Plans announced for fire stations merger

Firefighters on strike during a 2013 strike
Firefighters on strike during a 2013 strike
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Fire chiefs are holding a series of public consultation meeting over plans to merge two of the borough’s station.

Bosses want to shut Eccleston and St Helens fire station and build a new community hub in Canal Street.

They say the alternative to the merge is the outright closure of Eccleston fire station and that call-outs have dramatically reduced over the past decade.

Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said: “I would encourage people to join in and be a part of this consultation and submit their views on the consultation as well as attend the three public meetings.

“Over the last four years, MFRA has had to make savings of £20 million as a result of Government spending cuts and now the Authority is required to make a further £6.3 million savings in 2015/16. It is also clear the Authority will face significant further financial challenges over the course of this Parliament.”

Fire chiefs estimate moving to Canal Street would save the brigade £864,000 every year.

The forecast cost of a new station is £4.8m.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority has been successful in securing a grant from the Government to contribute towards its programme of station mergers.

Over the last 10 years, incidents across St Helens have fallen by around 50 per cent.

The public meetings will be held on Thursday, October 1 starting at 6.30pm at St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High School, Boardmans Lane, Blackbrook, and Tuesday, October 6starting at 6.30pm at St Helens Town Hall in Corporation Street.