West Yorkshire Fire Service plans to axe two fire engines and 44 jobs

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WEST YORKSHIRE Fire and Rescue Authority chiefs have launched public and staff consultations on proposals to axe two fire engines and 44 jobs in a bid to save £1.8m a year.

The proposals include removing both fire engines from stations at Stanningley in Leeds and Fairweather Green in Bradford.

It is also proposed to reduce staffing from five to three firefighters on the technical rescue Unit based at Cleckheaton Fire Station.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACO) Steve Rhodes presented the proposals to councillors at a Full Authority meeting at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service HQ.

ACO Rhodes said the changes were possible due to the significant reduction in risk and demand thanks to the prevention work carried out across all communities in West Yorkshire.

He said that durin the past 10 years, the number of incidents firefighters are called out to have more than halved.

The changes would also bring savings of £1.8m and there would be no compulsory redundancies because posts lost would be met through retirements.

ACO Rhodes said: “Firstly, I would like to give the reassurance that public and firefighter safety is our priority and have been at the forefront of our minds when carrying out research and drawing up the

proposals.

Coun Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Over the past five years, the authority has seen a 40 per cent reduction in its funding from Central Government, which is why we have been forced to make some difficult decisions.

“We have had to look at ways to reduce our spending without impacting on public safety. This initiative will also be done in line with retirement profiles, hence there will be no need for compulsory redundancies.

“I would encourage members of the public and staff to take a look at the plans and, if they feel appropriate, give their feedback.”

Formal representations can be made in writing by February 3 2017 by emailing IRMPconsultation@westyorksfire.gov.uk