Rallying cry to back fire and rescue scheme

Councillor John Huxley

Councillor John Huxley

First published in Keighley by

People are being urged to get behind a plan to set up a ‘first responder-style’ fire and rescue service in Haworth for it to have any chance of success.

The warning was delivered by parish council chairman, Councillor John Huxley, during a meeting on Monday.

The parish council’s environment working group has put forward the first responder idea in response to proposed funding cuts, which could see Haworth’s retained fire station closed.

Designed to save West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service millions of pounds, controversial proposals currently on the table may also see the number of fire engines in Keighley reduced from two to one.

Coun Huxley said: “Unless the people of Haworth back this, it’s a dead duck.

“I wouldn’t be prepared to stick our necks on the line if there’s a poor response. It has to be something that people are prepared to do.”

Coun Huxley added: “I would like this parish council to stage a public meeting to decide whether the village can provide a working group to address the project.

“We should talk to Keighley Town Council and Oxenhope Parish Council and send a delegation to MP Kris Hopkins to see if he would support this.

“We are fighting and this is a serious matter, but we’re a long way from succeeding.”

The previous parish council meeting was attended by dozens of members of the public expressing their fears regarding loss of fire and rescue provision. Coun Huxley said the turnout demonstrated the strength of local feeling.

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