Closure plans under scrutiny

Brighouse fire station now
Brighouse fire station now

COUNCILLORS will debate plans to close fire stations in Brighouse and Elland tonight.

Proposals put forward by chief fire officer Simon Pilling, to close the two stations and build a new one in Rastrick, were announced earlier this year. And a site in the Clough Lane/New Hey Road area has been earmarked by fire chiefs for the development.

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.

Both stations are classed as low-risk in respect of fire-related emergencies, a statistic which should be celebrated according to fire chiefs.

They also say a new Rastrick station would improve arrival times into the higher risk areas of Huddersfield and a quicker response to road traffic accidents on the M62.

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 report to the cabinet meeting says the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority is confident there would be no adverse operational effect from the proposals - which would be implemented between 2013 and 2017 - however, councillors and local communities may take a different view.

The plans are currently part of a 12-week consultation period which ends on December 9.