CONTROVERSIAL plans to close Ossett Fire Station and cut firefighter jobs have been approved.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority agreed to press ahead with the cost-cutting plans despite protests from union bosses and the community.
Under the proposals, which will come into effect between 2013 and 2020, Ossett’s Dale Street station will close and a new station will be built near junction 40 of the M1.
Wakefield Fire Station will lose one of its two engines, and 201 firefighter posts will be axed across the region.
But Rothwell Fire Station, which was due to close, will remain open following feedback received during a three-month consultation period.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said the plans would save more than £7m.
He said: “These are exceptionally difficult times for all public services but we cannot ignore the reality of financial cuts and the need to make fundamental changes to secure the future of the county’s fire service.
“We have had significant success in reducing the total number of emergency incidents in West Yorkshire, meaning there is undeniable scope for change.
“My proposals will still enable us to deliver a first-class emergency service which meets community risk, protects firefighter safety and contributes significantly to addressing the financial gap the authority must address.”