CAMPAIGNERS claim they have been "kicked in the teeth" after a plan to convert and re-open Haworth's closed fire station was removed from a key meeting agenda.

They took to the streets of Haworth to protest in pouring rain on Saturday, after learning the scheme to turn the mothballed facility into a community safety hub would not be discussed at tomorrow's fire authority meeting.

A fire service spokesman has said the project is not dead, but warned the service is having to review its financial situation.

Steve Thorpe, chairman of Friends of Haworth and Worth Valley Fire Station, said another rally is planned for this Saturday, beginning at midday outside the fire station.

He said he was told on Friday that West Yorkshire Fire Service could currently not move forward with the safety hub because of deeper-than-expected Government cuts.

He criticised what he said was an initial lack of an explanation about why the matter had been taken off the agenda.

Mr Thorpe added: “No one would give us the answers at first. They didn’t have the decency to do that.

“West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has opened four new fire stations in the Leeds area this year costing £10 million. This pioneering scheme in Haworth would have cost them £100,000 over three years, which would have been peanuts to them.

"They opened a new fire station in Killingbeck on Friday costing £3.7 million, the day we were told our project had been ditched. I feel we’ve been kicked in the teeth."

Keighley's MP Kris Hopkins, a former Worth Valley councillor, said: “I'm very angry about this.

"The deputy chief fire officer has advised me the promised funding for Haworth has been withheld despite the fact the future budgets for West Yorkshire are yet even to be announced.

"That’s not just poor leadership from Labour-dominated West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, it’s a complete absence of leadership. They are clearly playing politics and, sadly, it’s not for the first time.

"In contrast, Steve Thorpe and his team have led from the front since the birth of this project. They've been treated abysmally.

"I've written personally to the Prime Minister to make him aware."

Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council chairman, Councillor John Huxley, said: “It’s perplexing, disappointing and very annoying the way this has been handled.

“They are quite clearly under a lot of financial pressure from above, but this would be an investment in public safety."

Deputy chief fire officer, Steve Beckley, responded: “It's incorrect to say the fire service will not be going ahead with the project.

"West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority is simply reviewing its financial position in light of the news its funding from Government will be cut more dramatically than first feared.

"It remains committed to the principle of working with local communities to identify innovative solutions to delivering services in very low risk areas, such as Haworth.

“While we entirely understand the disappointment felt by the community, the sensible approach at this stage would be to continue to work together and identify the best way forward in these times of severe financial constraints.”