PCC calls for more focused and ambitious fire service collaboration
Surrey police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Munro will not be seeking a change in governance of the county`s fire and rescue service, but expects closer collaboration with the police service.
Surrey police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Munro will not be seeking a change in governance of the county`s fire and rescue service, but expects closer collaboration with the police service. Mr Munro has called on Surrey County Council to ensure the fire service works more closely with other fire services in the region as well as the police service, to make improvements for the public. He said he expects to see tangible progress in the next six months, including a detailed plan on how the services can collaborate efficiently. The PCC warned that he will be prepared to reconsider his decision if there is not a more focused and ambitious effort to enhance collaboration. I would like to assure the residents of Surrey that I have not taken this decision lightly and I am clear that retaining the existing governance arrangements does not mean that we simply accept the status quo, he added. I expect to see real and tangible activity over the next six months including a declaration of intent between the three chief fire officers across Surrey and East and West Sussex to work more closely in collaboration and a detailed plan on how both efficiencies and operational benefits can be drawn out. There also has to be a more focused and ambitious effort to enhance blue-light collaborative activity in Surrey. I am confident that Surrey County Council are now better informed to lead and explore how the fire and rescue service could work more creatively with others to the advantage of Surrey residents. I would expect this work to be pursued with rigour and focus and I look forward to seeing plans as they develop. Earlier this year, Mr Munro led a working group to look at how Surrey Police could work more closely with the fire and rescue service in line with provisions set out in the Policing and Crime Act 2017. He set out four options, including becoming a member of the existing fire authority or taking over the governance of the fire service. Following careful consideration and a public consultation, Mr Munro concluded it would be better to allow Surrey County Council to pursue better fire collaboration.