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Fire service backs plan to close Haworth station
Controversial plans to shut Haworth fire station could mean savings of £310,000 a year, a fire chief has said.
Craig Macintosh, assistant chief fire officer for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, told a meeting of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, that the service had to make drastic savings after losing ten per cent of its grant from central Government – totalling £17.9 million by 2015.
He was joined by Bradford district commander Jim Butters in addressing the meeting after the chairman John Huxley described the cuts as “akin to civic murder”.
The proposals include closing Haworth’s retained fire station and reducing the number of engines at Keighley from two to one. Shipley and Idle fire stations are also set to merge crews at a new station in Canal Road.
The move has sparked fury from Fire Brigades Union (FBU) chiefs, who have said lives will be put at risk.
However, Mr Butters said the fire service’s prevention work had reduced the number of fires and other accidents sharply. Mr Butters said: “We’re ensuring this is still a high quality service.”
The two fire service representatives delivered a summary of the savings needed to cope with Government cuts to its grant.
Parish Councillor Barry Thorne said fire authorities in northern England were being hit by Government cuts, while some authorities in the south are receiving grant increases.
He called for the “imbalance” to be taken up with Keighley MP Kris Hopkins.