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Haworth fire station is spared as fire cuts go ahead
4:00pm Thursday 27th December 2012 in Keighley
Fire service bosses have rubber-stamped huge cuts to stations across the district.
It has been confirmed that Keighley will lose one of its two appliances.
But closure-threatened Haworth fire station has been given a two-year stay of execution, while fire chiefs look into whether the parish council could take over its running.
On Friday, the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority agreed a £7m cost-saving plan, despite a huge public outcry.
In total, the Bradford district will lose 52 firefighters, 16 managers and one clerk.
Across West Yorkshire, 201 full-time firefighter posts will be lost.
The fire service said it would cut the jobs through the non-replacement of retiring staff, rather than redundancies. More than 12,000 people and groups objected to the plans in a 12-week public consultation earlier this year.
The fire service received only seven letters of support for the proposals.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said he fully understood people’s concerns. He said: “These are exceptionally difficult times for all public services but we cannot ignore the reality of financial cuts and the need to make fundamental changes to secure the future of the county’s fire service.”
But he said the number of call-outs had reduced by 42 per cent over the past ten years and the new-look service would fall within all safety guidelines.
Haworth fire station had been earmarked for closure, with the loss of 12 retained staff.
But the meeting heard the Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury parish council had come up with an idea to take it over and run a small ‘first responder’ type fire engine from there.
As a result, the closure of Haworth has been postponed for two years so the idea can be properly looked into.
A public meeting is being held in the village next month to discuss the issue.
After Friday’s meeting, Dave Williams, West Yorkshire brigade secretary for the Fire Brigades’ Union, said it was remained opposed to any cuts to the fire service.