Issued: July 25, 2017
MP welcomes announcement over Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
Today's announcement that Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst is to take on responsibility for Essex Fire and Rescue Service has been welcomed by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd approved Mr Hirst's business case for the collaboration with the news announced today by Nick Hurd, the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service.
Mr Hurd said the decision marked "an important step in the Government’s drive to see police and fire collaborate further and faster to benefit their local communities".
Mrs Laing said: "This is good news. I am very pleased that this decision has been taken by the Home Secretary.
"It is great that Essex are taking the lead in this initiative and that the proposal has the support of local authorities.
"Having a directly accountable leader overseeing policing and fire will help both services enhance their effectiveness, maximise available resources, enhance local resilience and improve the services delivered to the public."
Through the Policing and Crime Act 2017, the Government has introduced a range of measures to drive greater collaboration between emergency services, enabling services to share best practice and become more efficient and effective. This includes enabling PCCs to take on governance of fire and rescue services where a local case is made.
Since coming into post in 2012, PCCs have brought clear local transparency and accountability to police forces and their performance, as well as ensuring communities have a stronger voice in local policing.
PCCs will be able to bring this same level of accountability to fire and rescue services which will help the continuous improvement of the service.
It will also help to encourage greater collaboration between police and fire services in Essex, including the sharing of back office functions and premises.
This will enable the two services to work more effectively together to protect the public and secure best value for money.
The important distinction between operational policing and fire-fighting will still be maintained.