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Local News Details

Minister In Pledge To Visit City

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

FIRE minister Brandon Lewis today pledged to visit Merseyside to discuss the impact of potentially devastating funding cuts.

The ECHO's "Don't Play With Fire" campaign revealed last year that a government funding cull could see Merseyside's fire budget stripped by as much as £17m from 2014, leading to the potential closure of 10 fire stations and loss of 20 fire engines.

Merseyside has already had to combat cuts twice those inflicted on other forces, leading to 100 firefighter posts beign axed.

Mr Lewis, who took up the post of fire minister in September, confirmed he would visit Merseyside this year in a response to a letter co-signed by all Mersey MPs.

They had warned him that the impact of cuts on front-line services would put the public at risk.

In his response, Mr Lewis said: "I am keen to see what Merseyside have already achieved for myself and I have asked my officials to include this authority in my programme of visits in the coming year."

A visit on June 6 has been pencilled in, the ECHO understand.

Merseyside chief fire officer Dan Stephens said: "I welcome the fact that the minister has agreed to visit Merseyside so we can show him first hand the excellent work of the service."

Liverpool Echo
John Siddle
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