Outline Business Case for Fire Governance
As set out in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, Police and Crime Commissioners are now able to examine the options for taking over governance of their local Fire and Rescue Service.

In Hertfordshire, David Lloyd first stated his intention to investigate this proposal in 2016, and again in his Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan, published in 2017.

He believes there may be an opportunity to increase transparency, make the service more accountable and improve public safety and the overall efficiency of the service.

In December 2016, he commissioned an investigation to examine whether there is a good business case for bringing the governance of the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority under his responsibility.

This Outline Business Case, published today, suggests there are potential benefits to pursuing this model:
  • Improved interoperability, through a co-located control room, collaborative training and joint operational activity, enabling better coordination and the streamlining of decision-making across the emergency services. This will improve our response to road traffic accidents and other major inter-agency incidents.
  • Opportunity for better capital investment, the development of community assets, financial savings and innovation through shared police and fire estates.
  • Flexibility to determine the most financially beneficial option for back office service provision and corporate support, for example, vehicle maintenance.
  • Collaborative procurement between services, enabling substantial savings by maximising the collective buying power where operational requirements allow.
  • Delivery of efficiencies through a more coordinated use of joint resources, including Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and retained on-call fire-fighters, to bolster local policing teams and improve visibility.
  • Opportunities for improvements in public safety through bringing together an evidence base to inform preventative work and deliver improved safety outcomes for the public.
  • The outline business case has indicated that these benefits could achieve yearly revenue benefits of between £1.2m and £4m and one-off capital receipts of between £3.3m and £15.4m
David Lloyd will now commission a full business case to properly examine the potential of any further improvements to public safety and efficiency in Hertfordshire. If this reveals benefits can be achieved, he will put that to a public consultation.

The full business case is not expected to be published until the summer of 2017.

You can read the business case here.