South Leeds: Concerns over plan to merge fire stations
Under proposals announced last month, the stations on Corporation Street, Morley, and Dewsbury Road, Hunslet, would be axed.
They would be replaced by a single station – possibly in the Ring Road area close to the White Rose Shopping Centre. A fire engine would also be scrapped.
The changes are among sweeping cuts being proposed across West Yorkshire.
According to a report heard by Leeds City Council’s inner south area committee, in 2006/07 fire crews from Hunslet and Morley attended 3,008 incidents, including 157 house fires and 96 road traffic collisions.
In 2011/12 this fell to 2,068 incidents, including 91 house fires and 67 road traffic collisions.
“Changes in risk and demand support the merger of these two fire stations and the removal of one fire engine,” the report said.
However, Morley South councillor Neil Dawson said some areas would lose out.
He said: “Some of the inner city areas – Beeston and Holbeck, Wortley and Farnley – stand to get an improved service under the current proposals, whereas Morley South is one of the six wards in West Yorkshire that’s worst hit. It’s certainly a big hit in the service to Morley.”
Coun Elizabeth Nash (City and Hunslet), said her constituents would stand to benefit.
But she added: “It’s places like Morley and the satellite areas that will lose out, where the distance of travel will be greater and the response times will increase.”
Middleton Park councillor Judith Blake added: “A lot of people will require assurances that their service will continue as it is.
“I am concerned the work in communities will be affected. There are some really serious question marks about whether the service is going to be too stretched.”
A West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said proposals were in the consultation stage and concerns would be listened to.