PCC: 'Change in governance is not the answer' to enhance fire and police collaboration
The Surrey police and crime commissioner (PCC) has decided against a change of governance for the region’s fire and rescue service.
David Munro said he does not believe that any change would benefit residents in Surrey and confirmed he will continue to explore other options to better collaborate with regional fire colleagues.
Following the introduction of the Government’s Policing and Crime Act 2017, the PCC’s office carried out a detailed project that looked at options for the future of Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.
Mr Munro confirmed in November last year that following the analysis, he would not be seeking an immediate change in governance.
However, he delayed making a final decision to allow time for the fire service to set out its plans to work more closely with colleagues in East and West Sussex.
The PCC says he is now satisfied with the progress that has been made, and although more work needs to be done, a change in governance is not necessary to achieve this.
Mr Munro added: “This has been a really important project and I was clear from the outset that retaining an effective fire and rescue service for the residents of Surrey would be at heart of any decision on its future.
“I believe in providing the best possible value for money for our residents and our analysis has shown that a change in governance could prove very costly to the Surrey taxpayer. To justify these costs, there would need to be a convincing case, such as a failing fire service which is not the case in this county.
“Following our detailed analysis last year, I felt I wanted to give time to ensure future plans were properly in place for better blue light and regional fire and rescue collaboration.
“I remain convinced that fundamentally we can do more to align blue light services in Surrey, but a change in governance is not the answer and it is in our residents best interests to continue to focus on collaboration.
“I believe Surrey Fire and Rescue do a great job protecting our public and I look forward to Surrey Police continuing to work closely with them in the future to provide the most effective emergency services we can.”