Fringe Box



Police Commissioner Decides To Leave Fire & Rescue Service Under SCC Control

Published on: 23 Nov, 2018
Updated on: 25 Nov, 2018

By Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Surrey’s fire and rescue service is to remain under the control of the county council.

Governance of the fire authority has been under review for the past year after new powers were given to Police and Crime Commissioners to bring it under their remit.

But Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner has decided not to take control of the county’s fire service.

David Munro

David Munro has met with Surrey County Council officers but said that with new leadership in the council and fire service there was a “commitment to ensuring that, in the face of a pressing need to deliver savings, Surrey retains an effective fire service for its residents and businesses”.

Mr Munro originally put off making a decision in May this year saying he needed more evidence of the business case.

But he has concluded that because the fire and rescue service is embedded into the county council, any changes in governance “could prove substantial”.

In a paper to go to the Surrey Police and Crime panel on November 28, Johanna Burne, senior policy officer for OPCC (Office of the Police Crime Commissioner), writes: “The PCC remains convinced that fundamentally we can do more to align blue-light services in Surrey, but a change in governance should not be necessary to achieve this.

“The PCC has therefore concluded that it is in Surrey’s best interests to continue to focus on collaborative work between police and fire and between the fire services in Surrey and Sussex.

“He will not be proceeding with a business case for change of governance.”

Mr Munro says he will support a collaboration between three fire services in Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex but stressed he felt it could be progressing “further and faster”.

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