PCC Response to County Council Objection on Fire Governance
Hertfordshire County Council has said it is considering an objection to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposal to take control of the governance of the fire service.

David Lloyd said in response:

“It is disappointing that the County Council is considering an objection to this proposal.  I fully understand their concerns that the budget raised for the fire service may no longer be available to support some of the council’s other functions including social work and public health.  However, in the end I think it must be right that money raised to fund the fire service should be used to fund the fire service and not diverted into other areas of the county council.

The business case I have put forward requires me to take account of the potential impact on the County Council of losing control of the fire service. I am convinced that if Hertfordshire County Council are prepared to engage in discussions around this we could find a way of minimising disruption to them whilst achieving a better service for the public.

What I hope and expect this business case to deliver is a strong, independent fire service, with modernised equipment and buildings working more closely and innovatively with colleagues in police and ambulance to deliver a higher quality service to the public.

The council’s alternative proposal to allow the PCC to sit on the County Council cabinet is rejected in the business case on the basis that it is unworkable.  The Commissioner would be one member of a 9 person cabinet appointed by the council leader with no real power.

PCC governance will greatly improve public accountability around the fire service and provide improved focus and prioritisation – which would be of real value.  At the next election the people of Hertfordshire will be presented with some substantial and specific choices about how they want to see their fire service developed and will get to vote on them.  This is in stark contrast to the recent County Council elections where the future of the fire service hardly made it onto an agenda packed with other issues.”

You can read the full business case on the dedicated web page.

The County Council's statement can be read on its website.