PCC Investigates taking over Fire and Rescue Service Authority
Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has confirmed he intends to make use of new government legislation which allows PCCs to take responsibility for the fire service.

A business case for the PCC to become the fire authority is now being explored.

If the case does demonstrate benefits, extensive consultation including with the existing fire authority (Hertfordshire County Council), other partners, the public and employees will follow.

Following discussions with the Home Office it has been agreed that Hertfordshire will be one of the first areas to adopt the new process when it becomes law in the New Year.  It would mean David Lloyd, as Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, would set the budget and priorities for the fire service, making the way the county’s fire service is run directly democratically accountable.

“Hertfordshire has a fantastic fire service whose work is hugely valued and appreciated by the public. I made clear in my manifesto that further collaboration between the emergency services could provide more opportunities to improve the service and make sure the resources we have available are used to optimum effect.”

“Like Hertfordshire Constabulary, there will still be a chief officer in charge of operations which is absolutely the right thing to have – I’m not a fire or police officer – but the way the budget is set and the priorities for the service are best set by someone accountable to the people of Hertfordshire.”

The business case will investigate how closer working between the fire and police at all levels of the organisations could improve the service for residents. It would mean the replacement of Hertfordshire County Council as the fire authority.

PCC David Lloyd, who was previously the portfolio holder for the Fire Service at the County Council, says the change is of benefit to the county:

“There’s already a great deal of joint working between Hertfordshire’s fire and police services. Being able to make smarter use of the facilities we all own and ensure both services are delivering value for money.”

David Lloyd has just stood down as chair of the Emergency Services Collaboration Working Group, a multi-agency national group which has been working on better integration of blue light services.

Recent speech on fire service reform by Brandon Lewis MP:
Original press release from the Home Office on PCCs taking control of Fire Authorities: