MONEY-SAVING plans to shut two Calderdale fire stations have been given the green light.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority agreed yesterday to replace stations in Brighouse and Elland with one in Rastrick.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said he fully understood the concerns of people who had objected to the proposals but remained convinced that the plans were operationally sound and in the best long-term interests of the brigade.
The authority is facing the possible loss of £18m in Government grants between now and 2016.
“Of course we could have sat back, grumbled about our grant allocation and done nothing but the reality is that we haven’t had the cash to recruit since 2009 and are fast approaching the point where we will not be able to crew the full fleet,” said Mr Pilling.
“Many of our fire stations would then become glorified garages, unable to turn out an appliance.
“My proposals will spread us a little more thinly but still enable us to deliver a first-class emergency service across the whole of West Yorkshire. No one is more disappointed than me that we are having to make such fundamental changes, so fast, but no credible alternative has been put forward.”
The proposals were backed by Calderdale Council.