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.'
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.