Labour MP Bill Esterson hears from Aintree resident how future o

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Aintree resident and FBU organiser Brian Hughes and FBU Secretary Les Skarratts during their visit to Parliament.

 

An Aintree man visited Parliament this week to lobby his Labour MP, Bill Esterson, about the fire service cuts and to warn about a possible threat to Aintree Fire Station.


Brian Hughes, who is the Merseyside organiser for the Fire Brigades Union, told Bill about the potential impact on Aintree Fire Station if the Tory-Lib Dem Government continues with its cuts to services.

Brian told the MP that Merseyside has already had twice the national level of cuts despite being the most efficient fire service in the country and yet the government seems intent on cutting still further. This is despite Merseyside Fire Service being the cheapest service per incident anywhere in the country.

Bill said: "I really appreciated the fact that Brian had made the effort to visit parliament to lobby MPs about the dangers to the fire service of cutting too much. 

"The government has cut Merseyside fire service more than anywhere else in the country and if they continue, there will not be enough money for all the existing fire stations. 

"Aintree is especially at risk as Brian pointed out to me that it is close to other fire stations. The worry must be that it would be in the firing line if the cuts continue. That would be yet another blow to people in Aintree following on the threat to the library. 

"Both the fire service and council budgets have been cut to the bone by the Tories and Lib Dems and people in Aintree and Melling are bearing the brunt of the decisions taken by the government.

"Meantime, councils and fire services in some of the wealthiest parts of southern England have seen increases in their budgets. This cannot be right."

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer has already said that fire deaths will increase if these cuts go ahead.

Bill said: "The Fire Service has warned the government that cutting the fire service to places like Aintree and Melling is not just unfair it is dangerous. People will die if these cuts go ahead and we have to resist what the government is doing.

"Brian Hughes tells me that the government is using excuses to make its cuts by hiding the true numbers of fire deaths. The government claims that only five people died in fires last year. But they only count accidental fire deaths. The true figure was 41 people because most deaths in fires happen when the fires are started deliberately. 

"And then there are other ways the government reduces the figures. For example a man jumped out of a bedroom window to escape a fire in Southport. But this was not included in the figures as it was regarded a suicide.

"The Tories and Lib Dems should listen to fire fighters like Brian Hughes and consider the impact on people in Aintree and Melling. They should reverse the cuts before it's too late."