A CAMPAIGN to halt the closure of Bewdley Fire Station has been revived over claims the decision was based on flawed data.

The station in Dog Lane is set to close later this year when Wyre Forest's fire crews are centralised at the new £7.6 million emergency services hub in Kidderminster.

But the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says evidence used in 2015 to support Hereford and Worcester Fire Service's proposal to relocate services is now "out of date", and could put lives at risk.

Neil Bevan, FBU organiser, said: “In 2015, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service presented their evidence to justify why you should agree to allow them to close the three Wyre Forest fire stations located in Bewdley, Stourport and Kidderminster, and to centrally locate the resources in a new purpose-built blue light hub.

"This assertion was based on out of date and, in consequence, flawed data which will dangerously impair the service on offer putting people at risk.”

New data from the FBU suggests the number of fire engines available overnight has dropped from 10 in 2015 to seven, while crews in Wyre Forest have seen a 34 per cent rise in the number of incidents attended in the last five years - including a 52 per cent rise in Bewdley.

The FBU argues that as the fire service now has a balanced budget - as opposed to the £3.3 million spending gap predicted - the centralisation of services is no longer necessary.

Stephen Brown, spokesman for Wyre Forest Labour, said: "Like the FBU, we are concerned that the closure will not only impact the level of fire cover service in Bewdley, but the whole of Wyre Forest and even Worcestershire because less resource is available countywide.

"The fire service relies on engines and fire personnel to cross-cover other areas in the county when its necessary.

"How anyone can now think this closure is still justified is beyond belief."

Bewdley Labour branch activist Tony Raybould added: "FBU statistics show the decision to close our fire station is deeply flawed and we need a new risk assessment based on the current provisions across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

"The fire service needs to reopen this whole matter and think again.”

The calls come after Bewdley Fire Station was put up for sale, with the potential to be developed into 15 new homes.

However the fire service maintains there will be "no reduction in the number of fire engines", while the new hub will allow emergency services to "co-operate more closely and effectively".

A spokesman said: "A full public consultation ran from July 4, 2016 to September 9, 2016 and all responses and feedback were analysed and reported by an independent organisation."

They added: "The fire authority has concluded that a hub station will continue to provide effective fire cover for the Wyre Forest area in a more sustainable and cost-effective way than at present.

"In addition, it will provide state of the art accommodation, training and response facilities fit for the 21st century."

Work on Wyre Forest Emergency Services Hub is expected to be completed later this year.