1st September 2017
POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER SUBMITS BUSINESS CASE TO HOME OFFICE TO GOVERN NORTHANTS FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
Following a successful public consultation, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Northamptonshire has announced that he has submitted the business case to the Home Office, proposing that governance of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service transfer from Northamptonshire County Council to his office. If accepted, Stephen Mold will become Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
The announcement follows an eight week public consultation in which 1212 people shared their views on the proposed change. The consultation sought opinions from people from across the county, including fire service employees, police personnel, and staff from Northamptonshire County Council.
The results of the consultation showed that overall 60.8 percent agreed with the proposal for the commissioner to govern the fire service, 31.7 percent disagreed and 7.5 percent neither agreed nor disagreed. Fire service employees were significantly in favour of the change with 92 percent of them agreeing to the transfer.
Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said:
“I am very happy with the outcome of the consultation. I’m confident this proposed change in governance is in the best interests of everyone in Northamptonshire. I’m particularly pleased that people working for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue service can see the benefits of the transfer, with 92 percent of respondents wanting to see the change occur.
“The governance role is not operational, and the day to day running of the fire and rescue service remains with the Chief Fire Officer. My role is to provide a strong voice for our local communities, holding the Chief Fire Officer to account, and ensuring the public get an effective and efficient service that responds to our county’s needs.
“The fire service in Northamptonshire has faced significant funding cuts for a number of years. It’s my ambition to increase investment in the service, particularly in the frontline. If the business case is accepted then we can begin the journey to make this a reality, and help make Northamptonshire safer.”
If the Home Office accepts the business case the change of governance would come in to effect from April 2018. The proposal follows recent changes in legislation as part of the government’s desire to create more collaboration between emergency services at local levels.
Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold explained:
“Having a single governance model is a sensible proposal. Northamptonshire Police and the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service already work collaboratively and have led the way nationally on joint working – sharing buildings, vehicles and having joint operational teams.
“There is scope for developing more aligned strategic plans and increasing this collaboration further. We would look at opportunities for joint attendance at incidents, providing joint crime and fire prevention advice, sharing more buildings and support functions, and having joint procurement.
“This provides us with a real to opportunity make efficiency savings and use those funds to reinvest back into front-line services.”
Under the new proposals, both organisations would remain separate and keep their separate uniforms, and carry on delivering separate skills. The chief constable and chief fire officer would continue to be operationally independent and solely responsible for the day-to-day running of their own specific service and their budgets would remain separate.
The Police and Crime Commissioner is expecting a decision on the proposal from the Home Office in the late autumn.
The Business Case and the Consultation Report are available to view via www.northantspcc.org.uk