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MERSEYSIDE EMERGENCY PLANNING UNIT SEEKS TO SECURE FUTURE

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The emergency planning unit in Merseyside is being forced to look at ways of securing its own future, following cut...
The emergency planning unit in Merseyside is being forced to look at ways of securing its own future, following cuts in government grants.

The Daily Post (9 Dec, p5) reported that Eddy Hampson, chief emergency planning officer for Merseyside, is pessimistic about the body's future.

'It is impossible to make effective long-term plans when we don't know if we will exist in 12 months' time. It is widely accepted that we provide an extremely cost-effective service for all five local authorities in the county.

'Now we are discussing how councils can take over and offer us a five-year contract which will wipe out the current short-term uncertainty.'

The five authorities - Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, Liverpool and St Helens - agree that the system of sharing one EPU across the districts is significantly cheaper than operating their own individual organisations.

They are now moving to secure that arrangement by offering the unit a long-term contract of either three or five years.

The EPU, which runs on a budget of£334,000 a year, was one of the few multi-authority organisations retained after the break-up of Merseyside CC in 1986.

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