10 October 2014

The Merseyside branch of the Fire Brigades Union is calling for a repeat of the public consultation on proposals to merge fire stations.

The original consultation, which was held over 12 weeks from May until July, proposed that the Whiston and Huyton stations should merge, with a new site to be built in Prescot.

Around 79% of respondents said that the merger would be reasonable.

The FBU is asking the local authority to re-run the consultation as it claims residents were not aware that the Whiston station could be reclassified before the new station is built.

Mark Rowe, Brigade Secretary of FBU Merseyside, told the St Helens Star: “We believe the public in Merseyside could pay the ultimate price of cuts. We may be talking two or three minutes extra but this is life or death response times.

"The fire authorities are having to decide on the least worst options and there is a great deal of anger towards central government and David Cameron. These are the worst cuts in the history of the fire and rescue service.

"We're saying to the local authority to review this and not to make cuts. £26.5 million is always going to have devastating consequences."

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.