Public will have their say on station future

Striking firefighters outside St Helens Community Fire Station two years ago
Striking firefighters outside St Helens Community Fire Station two years ago

A consultation will start next month on the future of St Helens fire stations after service bosses opted to open the issue to public debate.

The two options up for consideration are an outright closure of Eccleston station or a merger with St Helens, creating a new site on Canal Street.

A 12-week consultation period will start from August 3 with public meetings held across the borough.

Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said: “The proposals are intended to minimise the impact of the ongoing cuts to the Authority budget and maintain as fast a response as possible to all parts of St Helens district.”

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has had to make savings of £20m due to governments budget cuts.

St Helens North MP Conor McGinn said: “It is vital each proposal is scrutinised in full and that average response times will not be increased by merging these stations.

“I know there are also proposals to look at increasing existing capacity at Newton-le-Willows station.

“But worryingly, figures from the FBU show there has already been a 10 per cent reduction in the number of firefighters across Merseyside from 2014/15.

“The fire service in St Helens provide an excellent quality service and it is important that this not adversely effected by either proposal.

“I look forward to studying the proposals, talking to local people about their views and taking part in the consultation.” Further details of the public meetings will be released next month.