Fire service for Brighton and Hove drops merger plan

Posted On 02 Feb 2012 at 9:05 pm

Plans to merge the fire service for Brighton and Hove with a neighbouring service have been shelved.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has ended talks with West Sussex County Council about a merger of the two fire brigades.

They had intended to create a Sussex-wide service from April next year, reflecting the way the county is policed.

And the merger was expected to bring financial savings as fewer senior managers and support staff would be needed.

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But changes to the way the government funds local authorities and the uncertainties around those changes led to too many doubts.

In a joint statement, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and West Sussex County Council said: “Merger remains the desired way forward if government funding and financial issues can be resolved.”

The two authorities have pledged though to keep working more closely together to deliver savings and efficiencies and a more resilient operational fire service.

Both authorities will also continue to work on creating a new joint control room, with the desired location being along the A23 corridor or at a mutually convenient location.

The merger proposal was widely supported and could be revived in future.

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