Huge Cuts To Fire Service Approved

100 fewer firefighters and ten stations to be closed.

West Yorkshire Fire service have today approved cuts of 100 fewer firefighters and the closure of ten stations in the area.

Councillors have given the proposals the green light which is designed to save £4 million a year from the budget.

The plans, which may take four years to fully realise, will see new stations in:

• Killingbeck, to replace Gipton and Stanks

• Menston, to replace Rawdon and Otley

• Rastrick, to replace Brighouse and Elland

• South Kirkby, to replace Hemsworth and South Elmsall

• Batley/Dewsbury, to replace Batley and Dewsbury.

A smaller fire response unit (FRU) will replace the second fire engine at Moortown and the second engine at Silsden will become a back-up appliance based at Keighley.

The authority is facing a loss of £18 million in central government grants between now and 2016.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said: "Of course we could have sat back, grumbled about our grant allocation, and done nothing but the reality is that we haven‟t had the cash to recruit since 2009 and are fast approaching the point where we will not be able to crew the full fleet."

"Many of our fire stations would then become glorified garages, unable to turn out an appliance."

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