A councillor has warned that a rise in Liverpool City Council’s energy cost might lead to fire service layoffs.
The council might wind up paying an extra £10 million as a result of billing errors that put it on a more costly tariff.
The energy arrangement includes the buildings, maintained schools, and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service of the Labour-controlled council (MFRS).
MFRS’s energy cost would be £1 million more owing to the council’s “incompetence,” according to Lib Dem councillor Andrew Makinson.
“The new tariff will begin in July, and LCC is trying to ascertain the costs of the city’s power – and will be able to calculate that accurately once the invoices for this quarter are in,” a spokeswoman for Liverpool City Council (LCC) stated.
Mr Makinson has written to Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan to inquire about the potential consequences.
According to the councillor, MFRS had budgeted £600,000 for power but now faces a cost of £1.6 million.
“The council now needs to do the right thing and offer an assurance that schools and the fire service will not have to pay for their mistakes,” Mr Makinson, an opposition leader on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, told the media.
“It is not acceptable that this Labour council, due of their ineptitude, puts cuts on firemen and in our classrooms,” he continued.
There were claims that the council would cover the difference from reserves, but that decision would need to be authorized by cabinet, which might take weeks.
“We have been in communication with Liverpool City Council about the matter,” an MFRS representative stated. “At this point, we are awaiting the conclusion of the independent study, real costs, and advised fix before contemplating our future steps.”