A BOLTON MP has launched a petition to save Bolton's fire stations.

Sir David Crausby, MP for Bolton North East has launched the petition after fears were sparked that two stations in Bolton could close, though the fire service maintains no decision has been made.

The MP wants the petition to send a message that cuts will not be tolerated.

Following a meeting between unions and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service rumours surfaced that fire stations in Crompton Way and Moor Lane may be among six across Greater Manchester that could face closure, with a new station built as a replacement.

Sir David said: “We have 700 fewer firefighters in Greater Manchester than we did in 2010.

"Now they’re talking about cutting stations and engines and possibly even more staff. But fires still happen, floods still happen, traffic accidents still happen, this is an essential emergency service.

"I hope that Bolton residents will join with me in making a clear statement that we support our local firefighters and we won’t accept further reductions in service.”

Cllr John Byrne, Breightmet ward is backing the petition, he said: "Funding for our fire service has been cut to the bone and now we find out we could lose our local fire station.

"The Conservative’s need to be told, enough is enough. We need this vital local service keeping our community safe and they need to fund it properly."

Chief fire officer Jim Wallace said: “We’ve been speaking to staff across the organisation over the past nine months for an honest assessment of how we operate currently. We’ve listened to people’s concerns and frustrations – and the things that make them proud to be part of GMFRS. We’ve been examining the culture of the service, how we go about our business, what we do well, what we need to improve, what we need to do more of, and what we may need to stop doing.

“Fundamentally, we want a GMFRS that is fit for the future and one which goes about its business in an effective and efficient way.

“No final decisions have been made on what the future of GMFRS will look like, but we are currently finalising a range of options which will go into a business case. As part of this process, we have met with trade union representatives to share some of the high-level principles we are working towards, with a view to sharing more detail when the proposals are finalised.”

Anyone wishing to sign the petition can visit Sir David's webpage at davidcrausby.co.uk.