Plans to axe 200 West Yorkshire firefighter jobs revealed

PLANS to axe 200 full-time firefighter jobs in West Yorkshire were today revealed.

Thursday, 30th August 2012, 6:48 pm

The county’s chief fire officer, Simon Pilling, revealed proposals that he said would allow the West Yorkshire brigade to cope with Government funding cuts.

Mr Pilling says his planned cull of firefighter posts would help deliver annual savings of £8m.

He also warned that, without changes, existing fire stations will become “glorified garages with unstaffed vehicles and equipment”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The proposed cuts would be over and above a money-saving package given the green light by fire chiefs late last year.

That package will lead to the loss of more than 100 full-time firefighter jobs and the closure of 10 fire stations in the period up to 2016.

If approved, the new action plan would be put into practice between 2016 and 2020.

Six fire stations in Leeds would shut in that period, with three new bases replacing them.

The stations earmarked for closure are Hunslet, Morley, Rothwell, Garforth, Cookridge and Moortown.

In Wakefield, Mr Pillling wants to build a new station for Ossett closer to the city.

He said: “We know we have to find cuts of between £8m and £12m over the next two years – and already have plans in place [to do that] – but all the messages coming out of central government project further reductions in financial support for local authorities up to 2020.

“Doing nothing is not an option as my inability to recruit would eventually leave fire stations as glorified garages with unstaffed vehicles and equipment.”

Mr Pilling will put his plan to the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority at a meeting a week today. The county currently has around 1,300 firefighting posts.

A brigade spokesman said it was hoped job losses would not involve any compulsory redundancies.