A FORMER Redditch Borough Council leader has slammed a plan to cut a fire engine from the town's station now it has been approved.

Seven fire engines will be cut and 45 on-call firefighter posts axed across Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

The fire authority for the two counties recently approved plans first set out in a resource review last December.

Speaking at a recent meeting at Wyre Forest Council Chamber, chief fire officer Jon Pryce said an eight-week public consultation had shown that although some people were not comfortable with the proposals, “there are no real alternatives”.

“There is an acceptance we do need to change,” he said. “The on-call system is getting harder. Carrying on as we are is not a viable option.

“84 percent of everything we do only requires one fire engine.”

Former leader of Redditch Borough Council Matt DormerFormer leader of Redditch Borough Council Matt Dormer (Image: Newsquest)

But Redditch Borough Councillor Matt Dormer, who has been an on-call firefighter for 28 years and recently retired, hit out at the plans.

He said: "It disgusts me I've got to be honest. They have tried to take this fire engine away two times over the last 25 years.

"We have always managed to keep it because Redditch is one of the busiest stations in the service for actual fires.

"The need is still there for three fire engines".

He added that it's "confusing" as a new fire hub has been built with three bays, but there are now only two engines.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service stressed most of the posts would go as a result of natural turnover and 18 full-time roles would be created with the savings made.

Fire engines are being cut at Worcester, Droitwich, Wyre Forest, Redditch, Hereford, Bromyard and Leominster Stations, while another engine at Wyre Forest Station will be crewed at night-time only.