COUNCILLORS are set to debate plans to close fire stations in Brighouse and Elland.
The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority earlier this year announced a rationalisation programme which includes losing 102 firefighters, closing 10 stations and replacing those with five new ones.
A new station at Rastrick would be built to replace the two lost in Calderdale.
Elland is classed as low-risk and Brighouse as very low-risk in respect of fire-related emergencies.
But, both towns proximity to the M62 means crews respond to a higher than average number of road accidents.
Fire chiefs 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.
And, the reduction from two to one continually-staffed fire engine would offer better value for money with the loss of as many as 24 positions.
The new Rastrick station would continue to provide a specialist water rescue capability.
A report to Monday’s cabinet meeting says the WYFRA 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 diferent view.
Councillor Bryan Smith (Lab, Ovenden) represents Calderdale on the fire authority and supports the plans.
“Brighouse fire station needs a great deal of refurbishment and the one in Elland needs a lot of modernisation also so I think these plans are a good idea,” he said.
“We believe money would be better spent on a new station.”
Councillor Howard Blagborough (Con, Brighouse) said most people seemed to be in favour.
“I have not had any negative feedback,” he said.
“The only thing I am unsure of is where the new fire station would be located in Rastrick.”
The authority is still considering sites for an optimum location.