Brighton and Hove fire chiefs caution against ‘merger’ with police

Posted On 31 Oct 2015 at 8:52 pm

The fire authority with responsibility for Brighton and Hove has told the government it opposes the prospect of being taken over by the police and crime commissioner (PCC).

It set out its objections in response to a proposal by the government last month to allow PCCs to take control of fire and rescue services.

East Sussex Fire Authority said: “The authority is convinced that the continuing austerity affecting the public sector is a sufficient driver for collaborations to develop still further without the single employer model suggested in the consultation.

“While the authority supports the duty to collaborate it has serious concerns that the proposals will not deliver a better service for the public if its resources are deflected as a result.

“Fire and rescue services have been incredibly successful in reducing incidents and emergencies through education, prevention initiatives and business engagement campaigns.

“These have largely been successful as a result of the unique brand of the fire and rescue service.

“The authority is concerned that this work may be compromised by these proposals.

“A multimillion-pound savings programme is already under way at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service including a move to Sussex Police headquarters in 2016 and the fire authority remains committed to working in partnership with Sussex Police ensuring public money is used to best effect.”

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