Councillors who successfully campaigned to save Haworth’s children’s centre and Central Park public toilets must continue their fight to retain yet another local facility.
Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council chairman Councillor John Huxley told colleagues he was optimistic Haworth Fire Station will remain open, with some form of emergency service based there beyond the end of December this year.
The property was scheduled for closure in December 2012 as part of a major cost-cutting exercise. But a two-year stay of execution was granted to allow groups to work out an alternative way of maintaining and operating the premises.
Worth Valley Joint Transport and Emergency Services Committee, including representatives from Haworth, Oxenhope and Keighley councils, has been meeting fire service, police and mountain rescue managers to thrash out a viable model to keep the station going as a volunteer-run community-style emergency centre.
Coun Huxley said: “We’ve had a very positive meeting with Fire and Rescue, and we’re going to be speaking to the police and mountain rescue.
“To all those people who are talking about that building closing on December 31, I would appeal to them to put their heads above the parapet and help us keep it open.
“I know it isn’t easy because what we’re trying to do hasn’t been done before.”
He said fire service bosses continued to take the matter seriously, and were willing to give people a chance to come up with a workable solution.
Coun Peter Hill highlighted the argument previously expressed by a fire service union representative, who said it was important to ensure the building is not closed completely because once it shuts it may never be re-opened.
And other councillors have warned the parish council must guard against being dismissed as a talking shop by making sure its defence of local services gets the credit it deserves.
Coun Gary Swallow said despite the hard work put in by parish councillors to retain the Haworth Park toilets and the Treetops Children’s Centre, their efforts are not always being recognised.
He warned that people who have not contributed to particular campaigns have “jumped on the bandwagon”.
“When we do achieve something, we should take credit for it,” he added. “A lot of people here don’t realise we do valuable work.”