A NEW task force has been set up in a bid to make West Yorkshire safer.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority has taken new steps in a bid to drive down fire risk and costs.

The fire authority is set to lose £18m in funding over the next four years due to cutbacks in central government grants.

Clr Andrea McKenna is heading a new Community Safety Committee aimed at overseeing brigade efforts to drive down fire risk and meet the financial challenge.

“Over the past 10 years our community safety work has helped drive down fire deaths and injuries to an all-time low, reduced fires in commercial property by over 50 per cent and seen a 73 per cent reduction in malicious calls, but if we don’t want to see those achievements crumble because of financial pressures we have to radically overhaul how we work.

“Our diminishing resources must be targeted at those at greatest risk so that, whenever possible, fire can be prevented in the first place or tackled effectively by having the right crews and equipment, in the right place, at the right time.

“In future, services must be tailored to clearly identified risks within the community or to firefighter safety rather than just to geographical location.”