Fears over replacement for Shipley and Idle fire stations

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Fears over replacement for Shipley and Idle fire stations Fears over replacement for Shipley and Idle fire stations

A year since the announcement that Shipley and Idle fire stations would close to be replaced by a unifying new base, a potential site has still to be found, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service has confirmed.

Early speculation was that the target zone for the the new station would be the Canal Road area of Bradford.

But the Council’s Liberal Democrats leader, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Idle and Thackley), said that a lack of action is causing anxiety in the affected area.

“Having caused all the upset a year ago, they really should get on with it and at least identify a site,” said Coun Sunderland.

“Local people are worried that they may be dis-investing in Idle and Shipley stations while still looking for a site.”

West Yorkshire Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Beckley said it was imperative that the right site was chosen for the new station.

“The current timetable for the new fire station to replace Shipley and Idle is for it to be operational in 2018 and we continue to look for an appropriate site in the right location and at the right price,” Mr Beckley said.

“The new fire station to replace Shipley and Idle is just one of many changes taking place across West Yorkshire as part of our Integrated Risk Management Plan which is being implemented between now and 2020.

“A report being submitted to the Fire and Rescue Authority on December 20 will show good progress in implementing the overall plan with the construction of five new fire stations commencing in the next 12 months.”

Lee Indricks, the Bradford division secretary of the Fire Brigades’ Union said members appreciated the difficulties in finding an ideal site.

“I do understand that it is difficult to find the right site and that it will take time,” he said.

“It may be that they have identified sites which are currently not for sale and are trying to encourage owners to sell.

“Unlike Government or councils, they cannot make compulsory purchase orders.

“Twelve months is quite a short time span in terms of logistics and so it doesn’t suggest the scheme is not still going ahead.”

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