SHROPSHIRE’S fire authority could help stave off the police commissioner’s takeover bid by co-ordinating training with their colleagues in Hereford and Worcester, a members said.

Last year, West Mercia police and crime commissioner John Campion’s proposal to take over governance of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service was approved by then Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Mr Campion argued the move would improve “economy, efficiency and effectiveness” between the two services, but Shropshire’s fire authority is challenging his business case and a judicial review is scheduled for June.

Fire authority member Nigel Hartin said it “might be useful” to work with the neighbouring brigade to achieve those aims, to show the police merger is unnecessary.

Last March, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service agreed to enter a ‘strategic fire alliance’ around three main priority areas: fire control, risk management planning and ICT.

Cllr Hartin was speaking at a Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority committee meeting on members’ training and development.

In a report for the committee, Assistant Chief Fire Officer David Myers said authority members had attended training on topics including diversity, accounts and firefighting drills and equipment.

“Pertinent areas for the coming year are yet to be agreed, but will include risk management training and safeguarding training,” his report added.

Cllr Hartin, who represents Clun on Shropshire Council, said

“Given that we’ve got the Fire Alliance moving forward and the challenge coming up in the courts, I think it might be helpful if we could liaise with Hereford and Worcester to see if we could do any joint training.

“It might be useful to show we can work together and help us going forward.”

Standards and Human Resources Committee chairman Peter Adams agreed Cllr Hartin’s request would be noted along with Officer Myers’ report.