Malvern could be about to lose one of its two fire engines as part of plans being considered by the fire service.

But the leader and deputy leader of the district council say the people of Malvern should fight the proposals.

A resource review report made for the chief fire officer shows Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority will be reviewing how it can respond to challenges around on-call availability.

It recommends getting rid of ‘second’ fire engines from a number of stations across the two counties including Malvern, and reducing the number of on-call firefighters in favour of having more full-time crew members at busier stations in Worcester, Hereford and Wyre Forest.

According to the report, the eight fire engines earmarked for removal cost £881,000 a year to retain but attend only five per cent of the incidents attended by Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service each year.

Tom Wells, the leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said he is prepared to call a public meeting about the plans, adding: "We need to fight this proposal."

Both he and deputy leader Natalie McVey are members of the fire authority and say they were the only two people to speak out against the changes at a meeting earlier this week.

Malvern Gazette: Council leader Tom Wells and deputy Natalie McVey are concerned about the changesCouncil leader Tom Wells and deputy Natalie McVey are concerned about the changes (Image: MHDC)

Cllr McVey said: “I acknowledge that we sit on the committee as representatives of Worcestershire County Council, but it’s impossible not to turn your head towards the implications of proposed changes on your own community.

"If the proposals are implemented, there will be changes at Malvern Fire Station, so this is obviously a concern for me.

"I do appreciate the reasons for a review of resources and understand that there are no planned job losses overall. I want the public consultation to carry as much weight as possible so would urge members of the public to participate once it goes live.

"I would particularly ask that people specifically share their concerns about the proposed changes to Malvern Fire Station as I am sure that these will be taken into consideration by decision makers.”

Malvern Gazette: MP Harriett Baldwin said flooding brings staffing levels into clearer focusMP Harriett Baldwin said flooding brings staffing levels into clearer focus (Image: MP Harriett Baldwin)
Cllr Wells said: “I am very concerned that these proposals would strip the fire and rescue cover in Malvern to the bone.

"The nearest additional appliances would need to travel from Worcester. When the A449 in Powick is impassable, as it nearly was just three weeks ago, that journey would involve a detour of 25 miles via the M50 and M5."

Malvern MP Harriett Baldwin said: “I have been contacted by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chief Fire Officer who is planning to brief me on changes that he is consulting on, to improve performance, next year.

“I have always been keen to ensure the fire service has the right level of staffing to ensure that it is able to attend incidents, and this is brought into clearer focus during times of flooding, when fire staff are needed to carry out a wider variety of tasks.

“I understand that the consultation will be carried out early next year and I will consider the proposals closely before responding.”

The Fire Brigades Union condemned the plans, saying they would put the public and firefighters at risk.