Site put forward for new fire HQ

new Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling. He will take up his appointment on Monday, September 8. ''submitted
new Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling. He will take up his appointment on Monday, September 8. ''submitted

A SITE in the Clough Lane/New Hey Road area has been earmarked for the proposed Rastrick fire station.

Proposals put forward by chief fire officer Simon Pilling, to close Brighouse and Elland fire stations and build a new one in Rastrick, have just started a 12-week consultation period after members of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority gave the nod of approval after a matter of minutes.

There was no debate by councillors at Friday’s meeting to the proposals which are estimated to save £4million a year.

Mr Pilling’s draft Integrated Risk Management Action Plan for 2012-2013 recommends the closure of ten stations, including Brighouse and Elland, and build five new ones.

Speaking exclusively to the Brighouse Echo, Mr Pilling, said in terms of access into the two communities Rastrick was almost perfect for them. “The other advantage for that site (which he said was privately owned and already on the market) is it is back-up to Huddersfield which is a high risk area and of course it compliments our road traffic collision resource as well. It couldn’t be in a better position for ourselves.

Mr Pilling said the proposals were at least two years in the making. “It is certainly on the back of excellent performance in reducing risk over the last five or 10 years making Brighouse and Elland low risk areas which should be celebrated. But most importantly it is all underpinned by scientific assessment. We have used a number of meddling tools to validate the findings and used an external expert organisation to do like wise as well. As chief fire officer I’m fairly confident that each of the proposals is sound and sensible.

“The fire authority has a record of investing highly in community safety, and it is once again digging deep into the coffers and presenting a £15million investment programme for the infrastructure to deliver fire services in such areas over the next several decades and that opportunity should not be missed by local communities.”

At the moment 48 full-time firefighters serve the two stations. But when the two are combined 24 of the posts will be removed by planned retirements. The new station will also retain the area’s water rescue and flood response capability.

A hotline has been set up to guide people through the consultation on 01274 655717.

Formal representations, which need to be received by December 9, must be made in writing or email for the attention of Stephen Hardy, consultation co-ordinator, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Oakroyd Hall, Bradford Road, Birkenshaw, BD11 2DY or stephen.hardy@westyorksfire.gov.uk