Having attended the public consultation at Keighley Civic Centre on Monday 29th October I came away feeling both angry and disappointed. I was initially very disappointed that our local award winning newspaper had both published the incorrect time of the meeting and failed to send a reporter along, reducing our fire cover to a life threatening level is obviously becoming old news.
Secondly how disappointing at such a poor turnout, it is true that we are only interested in the efficiency of the emergency services when we need them.
Furthermore it is bitterly disappointing to listen to members of the Fire Service justifying cutbacks that jeopardise the safety of people living in the Keighley area and Firefighters themselves.
In the world we live in there is more reward for the man who can say "I cut West Yorkshire Fire Service in half" than there is for the man who can boast " I stood up to the politicians and saved West Yorkshire Fire Service"
Morals don't pay the mortgage.
I was angry after the meeting (consultation) because as was pointed out the Fire Service Officers did not even take minutes. This shows that the whole consultation process is purely paying lip-service to what should be a proper open and honest debate.
Statistics can and do hide facts, why use accidental fire death stats when the Fire Service attend incidents both accidental and malicious? Does someone trapped in a deliberate house fire deserve a speedy response?
Next summer West Yorkshire Fire Service, led by Chief Officer Pilling will mark the 30th anniversary of the tragic loss of Fireman Jeff Naylor at a house fire in Keighley. With one Fire Engine covering the the whole of the Keighley and Haworth area under his proposals I fear for the Fire fighter awaiting backup in future years.
I worked at Keighley Fire Station for 27 years, I know that one fire engine cannot cover such a large area. Emergency services should at least stay the same if not improve, they should not be eroded to pay for the mistakes of greedy bankers. As a resident of Keighley I want the same level of protection from the Fire Service as was deemed necessary in the past, not a service backed up by misleading statistics.
The Fire Sevice costs the council tax payer about one pound per week. I pay £17 per moth incase my heating packs in, I pay £75 per year in the event my car breaks down, I am more than happy to pay a bit more to provide a proper Fire Service.
We are constantly told there is no money, yet there is loads for war, there is plenty to run the Olympics and one couple can win £140 million in a lottery!
It is time to stand up and fight for what we know to be right
TO send YOUR VIEWS on the proposed cuts in West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Provision Click
HERE to view the consultation documents.
You can also send your comments via snail mail to
Hannah Stoneman or email her HERE
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue