Public urged to support fight to save Haworth fire station

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Councillor John Huxley outside the fire station Councillor John Huxley outside the fire station

Councillors who successfully campaigned to save Haworth’s children’s centre and the Central Park public toilets must continue their fight to retain its fire station.

Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council chairman Councillor John Huxley said he was optimistic the fire station would remain open beyond December, but has appealed for public support.

The fire station was scheduled for closure in December 2012 as part of a cost-cutting exercise by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

But a two-year stay of execution was granted to allow groups to work out an alternative way of maintaining and operating the premises.

Worth Valley Joint Transport and Emergency Services Committee, including representatives of Haworth, Oxenhope and Keighley councils, has been meeting fire service, police and mountain rescue managers to thrash out a viable model to keep the station going as a volunteer-run community-style emergency centre.

Coun Huxley said: “To all those people who are talking about that building closing on December 31, I would appeal to them to put their heads above the parapet and help us keep it open. I know it isn’t easy, because what we’re trying to do hasn’t been done before.”

He said fire service bosses continued to take the matter seriously and were willing to give people a chance to come up with a workable solution.

Councillor Peter Hill has highlighted the argument previously expressed by a fire service union representative, who said it was important to ensure the building is not closed, because once shut it might never reopen.

l The parish council must guard against being dismissed as a talking shop by making sure its defence of local services gets the credit it deserves, Coun Hill said.

Councillor Gary Swallow said despite the hard work put in by parish councillors to keep the Haworth park toilets and Treetops Children’s Centre, their efforts are not always being recognised.

He warned people who have not contributed to particular campaigns have “jumped on the bandwagon”.

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