News

07.09.18

Deal secured between PCC and Hertfordshire County Council as fire services debate dropped

A deal has been agreed between a south east county council and the police and crime commissioner (PCC) after he dropped his business case to take over the running of the fire service.

In an announcement yesterday, an agreement was made to set up the Hertfordshire Emergency Services Collaboration Board, which will ensure the collaboration agreements can be delivered by all partners.

PCC David Lloyd had previously submitted his business case to the Home Office over the summer to potentially close fire stations in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, and move them into a joint station at the police offices in Welwyn Garden City.

In the PCC announcement published yesterday, the new formal agreement between the PCC and Hertfordshire County Council will look to strengthen joint working which will be pursued under the existing governance structure.

Lloyd said: “There are clear benefits to both police and fire having a strong and positive working relationship and this agreement between the two governing bodies will allow existing progress to accelerate.

“I want the best for police and fire services, and together with the county council, we recognise a number of important areas for collaboration which can improve efficiency, effectiveness and public safety.”

Lloyd noted that the “constructive step forward” with Hertfordshire CC will bring about significant improvements to how emergency services work together.

“As a result of this, I’ve agreed to suspend my business case on the understanding we can make significant and speedy progress on exploring the objectives set out in the Memorandum of Understanding,” he added.

Leader of Hertfordshire County Council David Williams said the decision “provides clarity” for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

He added: “We remain committed to seeking opportunities to improve the Fire and Rescue Service’s efficiency and cost effectiveness. This will include an assessment of the financial and operational benefits of co-locating Police and Fire and Rescue Services Headquarters at Stanborough, Welwyn Garden City and a joint control room.”

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Image credit: Hertfordshire PCC

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