A PUBLIC meeting this weekend will decide the next steps for the Save Bewdley Fire Station campaign.

To date, campaigners including members of the Fire Brigade Union and Wyre Forest Labour have raised a 2,500-signature petition, held a human chain around the Dog Lane station and conducted a march through the town centre in opposition to plans to centralise Wyre Forest's fire crews at a hub off Stourport Road.

They say data used in the last consultation is now out of date, and are concerned the move will increase response times and put people's lives at risk.

A meeting at St George's Hall at 11am on Saturday, November 16 will ask members of the public to share ideas for the campaign's next steps, which could include lobbying Parliament or even legal action against the fire service.

Tony Raybould, campaign chairman, said: “Since the petition was lodged with fire bosses, the authority has doubled down on their position by refusing to accept a new risk assessment and halt the closure as demanded.

"This, despite their original decision to close the fire station being based on seriously out of date and flawed data, and a consultation report that deliberately ignored people’s concerns in both Bewdley and Stourport.

"We’re now putting it back to the people of Bewdley to decide upon, something that the Fire Authority refuses to do."

A spokesman for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: "The fire authority does not intend to revisit its decision to create the Wyre Forest Hub because the decision was taken following a thorough and detailed analysis of the longer-term sustainability of emergency cover arrangements in the Wyre Forest area, within the wider context of the Service’s overall provision.

"All of these pointed to the merger of the three Wyre Forest stations into one location as being the best option available within the financial constraints that the Service was facing at the time, and continues to face today.

"Since the original decision was made, there has been no material change in the circumstances underpinning the business case which would give the Fire Authority cause to reconsider its policy on this matter.

"The proposals underwent extensive public and staff consultation, over a lengthy period of time, which did not bring to light any significant issues to make the Fire Authority reconsider its decision."