The Chief Fire Officer of Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has been called to give evidence at a Commons Select Committee in Westminster on Fire and Rescue Service funding.

The request was made following £9 million of cuts in government grant funding to Merseyside fire & Rescue Service during 2011 to 2013.

Further reductions are expected in the grant from central government. An announcement on the grants is expected in December.

Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said: “I have been called to give evidence at a Commons Select Committee on Fire and Rescue Service funding on July 16th and I intend to use the opportunity to highlight the impact of the cuts to date and the consequences of further cuts.

“I have also met, yesterday, with the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser to Government Sir Ken Knight along with the five other Metropolitan Chief Fire Officers to make our case over the settlement for years 3 and 4 of the Spending Review for the financial years 2013 to 2015.

“This meeting was followed by a briefing of Metropolitan MPs at Westminster including seven from Merseyside.

“The Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Dave Hanratty, and I will use every means at our disposal to secure the best outcome for Merseyside when the settlement for years 3 and 4 is announced in December.”

A document has also been released by the Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities, which includes Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, outlining the potential impact of the 2013 to 2015 grant settlement from central government. The document can be accessed by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

The document includes information including the reduction in firefighter posts since 2000 in Merseyside and other Metropolitan areas, the reduction in fire deaths from 2005/6 and 2010/11 in Merseyside as well as grant funding increases for all Fire and Rescue Services from the financial years 2005/06 to 2010/11.

Speaking about a 27% cut in grant in years 3 and 4, the financial years 2013 to 2015, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said: “The grant cut will lead to more fires, fire deaths and injuries on Merseyside. Reductions in stations, appliances and firefighters will have a significant impact on our frontline emergency response and prevention work.

“In a region with 32 of the top 100 areas of highest deprivation in the UK, the cuts would be threatening the most at risk and vulnerable people in our society.

“We have had a decade of reducing fires, fire deaths and injuries, of making significant contributions to reducing the financial cost of fire and making major contributions to our local communities in reducing anti-social behaviour and helping young become worthwhile members of society.

“Much of this success will be lost in two dramatic Government grant cuts.”

Below are two submission documents which have been sent to government on behalf of the Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities:

Potential Impact of the 2013-15 Finance Settlement Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities

Potential Impact of the 2013-15 Finance Settlement Association of Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Authorities

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