SOME 113 fire service support staff jobs are to be axed and six stations will close across Greater Manchester as metro mayor Andy Burnham bids to save a total of £12.8 million over three years.

However, Oldham appears to have been saved the worst of cuts as the number of fire engines in the city region is reduced by nine, from 56 to 47.

Oldham has been earmarked as one of the nine stations to lose its fire engine and, controversially, the number of firefighters riding on all appliances could be reduced from five to four.

Six fire stations singled out to close are Bolton Central and Bolton North, Stockport King street and Stockport Whitehill and Philips Park and Manchester Central

If these shut, three news ones – costing £3 million to £4 million each – would be built on sites which have already been identified.

Meanwhile, the number of firefighters at the brigade's retained stations - where crews work during the day but are on call at night - will be reduced from 12 to nine. The stations are at Ramsbottom, Littleborough, Horwich, Irlam, Marple and Mossley.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s current average response time to serious fires is seven minutes 30 seconds. The average for England is eight minutes 45 seconds.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) must slash £10 million from its budget this year. In total over three years they must save £12.8 million.