Hereford & Worcester and Warwickshire fire services could merge

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Hereford & Worcester and Warwickshire fire services could merge under plans being considered in the counties.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue has to save almost £5m from its budget over three years, while Warwickshire faces £3.5m cuts next year.

A fire authority meeting in Hereford on Thursday is being asked to give its backing for talks between the services.

The Fire Brigades Union said there were few details at the moment, but feared it could lead to job losses.

Last week, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said four fire stations could close in a bid to save money.

Robin Walker, Conservative MP for Worcester, said: "I'm glad we're not talking here about a kind of West Midlands wide fire service.

"But I think it's right that the fire service should look at every way it can of saving costs in the back office and working together with neighbouring authorities."

He added that he would welcome the move if it was similar to the alliance introduced on Monday between West Mercia and Warwickshire police forces.

Earlier this year Warwickshire Fire and Rescue pulled out of a proposed partnership with the Northamptonshire service.

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