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Haworth campaign closes in on fire service rescue deal
7:00am Thursday 24th April 2014 in News
Councillors leading a campaign to salvage some form of community emergency service at Haworth Fire Station will present details of a rescue plan to a key meeting tomorrow.
Worth Valley parish council chairmen councillors John Huxley and Neal Cameron will go to Birkenshaw to outline their proposals to members of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s community safety committee.
They will present ideas for a scheme to keep the building going as a volunteer-run community-style emergency centre, even after it ceases operating as a retained fire station at the end of this year.
And if fire chiefs back the bid, it will be put out to consultation later this year.
Coun Huxley, of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, said: “We’ve been working very hard during the past 16 months to reach an agreement with fire and rescue, and we do now have a framework in place.
“If it gets past this stage, we will look to go public and seek partners and recruit volunteers.
“As parish councils, we can’t do it all ourselves, as we don’t have the expertise or the money, so we would be looking to the community to get involved.
“If this comes off, we’ll have been able to save the building, even though we regrettably haven’t managed to save the retained firefighters. There just isn’t the money around at the moment to do that.
“If we can save the building, then it could become a community asset and we can start to plan for the future. It’s a key meeting because we have to convince them the plan we’ve put together is viable and sustainable.”
Haworth Fire Station, in Station Road, was due to be closed as part of a major West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service cost-cutting programme. But a public backlash won a two-year stay of execution.
Commenting on tomorrow’s meeting, Worth Valley ward councillor Glen Miller said: “I think the parish councillors have done an admirable job to try and save this facility.
“Unfortunately, with the debt left over by the last government, people have had to make reductions and it always seems to be the outlying, rural areas that get hit hardest. I hope the committee will listen to what the parish councillors have to say.
“But there should not be an extra tax on the people of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury if this does go ahead.”
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