FIRE services in West Yorkshire are doing well.

The Audit Commission has awarded the county fire and rescue authority top marks for both operational performance and use of resources.

In a new report, the commission gives the maximum four-star rating in both categories.

“This is wonderful news because it confirms our position as one of the leading fire and rescue authorities in the country,” said Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling.

“The commission’s ratings are made after a far more rigorous and independent examination of the way we do business than the old fire service inspections.

“It mustn’t be forgotten that we cover a vast metropolitan area with a huge range of challenges and yet are performing strongly against even those tiny, comparatively well-resourced brigades in the sleepy shires.

“My staff can be justifiably proud that they’re doing an excellent job.”

Clr Philip Booth, who chairs West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said it was the second year running that the highest score had been awarded for financial management.

“The brigade can’t work effectively without sound finances so the way we plan and control spending is critical to the frontline.

“It’s not always the total in the pot that matters but how well that money is managed.

“We’ve found some £13m in efficiency savings over recent years, he added”.