CONTROVERSIAL plans to re-shape the region's police and fire services have been submitted, with a final decision to be made by the government.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion is submitting a full business case to the Home Office over his proposal to govern both Shropshire and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Services, a move that he says will save £4 million a year.

Mr Campion has claimed that a single governing body would give the best opportunity to improve local police and fire collaboration, efficiency, and ultimately, the services delivered to local communities.

“I promised I would listen to, and be guided by, our communities and that is what I am doing," he said.

"If there is credible evidence that a change in governance would cost less, achieve more and has public backing, I cannot just ignore that.

"For those reasons I felt it was right to further develop these proposals, create a full business case and put it to government for their consideration.

"I recognise that some people had raised concerns during the consultation, but I am confident those concerns have been addressed in the full business case.

"Enhanced collaboration between our emergency services must now be delivered to increase public safety."

Mr Campion's plans have been heavily criticised by Worcestershire County Council councillors.

County councillors unanimously backed a substantive motion in September stating the proposals would not be in the interests of improving public safety or the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the service.

In previous meetings, Bromsgrove East councillor Kit Taylor accused Mr Campion's report on the plans as being “full of platitude” and having “no backbone”, claiming the public were being “led down a certain line”.

Kidderminster councillor Fran Obroski labelled the consultation a “bogus case” and questioned if the figure for the £4 million worth of savings had been “pulled out of the air".

Results of a public consultation by the PCC showed that more than 1,300 responses were received during three months, of which 61 per cent said they supported the idea.