A 12 week public consultation exercise on radical plans to reform fire cover across West Yorkshire has been launched today.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling says the proposals are to address:
- the dramatic reduction in incidents, accidental fire deaths and injuries across the county over the past decade
- the likelihood of further nationally-driven austerity measures
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority is dependent on central government for 60% of its funding.
Mr. Pilling said he could not justify "doing nothing" and hoping for a medium-term financial upturn because his inability to recruit would eventually leave the existing number of stations and appliances unstaffed – giving the public a false sense of security.
If endorsed by the fire authority following consultation, his draft proposals would see the number of full-time firefighter posts reduce by 200 (through natural retirements) but eventually deliver revenue savings of £8 million.
The plan would also maintain or improve fire engine response times in 23 higher risk local electoral wards.
- A special hotline is being set up to guide people through the consultation process: 01274-655717
- Formal representations (to be received by 30 November 2012) must be made in writing/email and directed for the attention of Hannah Stoneman, Consultation Co-ordinator, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Oakroyd Hall, Bradford Road, Birkenshaw BD11 2DY or by emailing email@example.com
- More information is available here