Hundreds shut out of consultation meeting over plans for new fire station in Greasby
Hundreds were shut out of a public consultation over plans to shut two fire stations in Wirral tonight.
Upton and West Kirby fire stations could both be axed, along with 22 jobs as the force attempts to slash its budget due to funding cuts. If those plans are given the green light the two stations would be replaced with a new £2.8m base in Greasby to serve both areas.
But concerned residents who turned up to tonight’s meeting at Greasby Methodist Church Hall on Greasby Road were closed out from the meeting because the hall was too full.
Richard Booth told the ECHO: “We turned up for the meeting but they are telling us no more can come in. I don’t think they were expecting this kind of turn out.
“There are about 400 people inside and about another 500 outside the hall. There are fire officers on the church hall steps trying to pacify the crowd, but they are angry because they want their views to be heard.
“People won’t leave they’ve turned out on mass because they feel so strongly that they don’t want Upton and West Kirby to close. There is no need to build a new station in Greasby, when we have perfectly good fire stations.”
Mr Booth added that people in the crowd were shouting “we want democracy” and “you’ve already decided to close the stations”.
On Twitter, A J Perrigo wrote: “Taken a little straw poll out here and I haven’t found one in favour of Greasby fire station.”
Peter Harrison tweeted: “Strong feeling at Greasby fire station meeting. Hundreds people can’t get in #NoToGreasbyFireStation.
“Everyone outside was really unhappy that the level of discontent was not represented in the meeting.”
If West Kirby and Upton stations are closed a new station would be built on Frankby Road.
Should the merger take place, the average response time from Greasby to an incident would be six minutes 12 seconds compared to the current average response time of five minutes 32 seconds for incidents in the West Kirby area, and four minutes 33 seconds for incidents occurring in the Upton area.
The merger would see the loss of 22 firefighter posts which, with the savings from moving to one station, would see £864,000 per year cut from the force’s expenses.
Dan Stephens, chief fire officer for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Over the last four years the service has had to make savings of £20 million as a result of cuts in our Government grant. We now face further cuts of £6.3 million in 2015/16 and our expectation is that there will be more grant reductions in the following years.”
Each public meeting is open to anyone, whether they live in the areas that may be affected or not.
Further public meetings will be held at:
* Activity Hall at Woodchurch High School on Carr Bridge Road, from 7pm to 8pm tomorrow.
* Hoylake Parade Community Centre on Hoyle Road, Hoylake, from 6pm to 7pm on Thursday.
Source : Click Me