Madness, or thin edge of the wedge
Fire stations are working environments, opening them to communities would create a huge raft of problems regarding health and safety and security. Currently, visits by the public are suitably controlled and supervised for the safety of all concerned. Having them turned into some form of community centre would require more non operational staff being taken on to look after these services. Considering Fire Services are under financial pressure to cut costs, there is no way the budgets would stretch to this.
Environmentally, until some better vehicle option comes along, big diesel engined fire appliances will still be needed. But the number of these vehicles is miniscule compared to the number of lorries, 4x4 and luxury 5litre cars on our roads. Fire services have made real measurable improvements in environmental impact in the materials and vehicles they use. Firefighters are trained to protect the environment during incidents, reducing the impact from chemical spills and run-off water.
The concern is the wish to remove fire stations, on a "green" pretext, and build fewer replacement buildings that may mean cover in some areas may be less than before.
But believe me, Fire Services WANT to provide the best service possible to the public. They don't want to make cuts, they would love to expand the services they provide. But in the end, they have to work with the budget they are given.