More joint working in Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will be working even more closely with colleagues in the police, following a pledge by Gloucestershire County Council.

Earlier in the year, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) dropped plans to take over the running of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service. Instead, at a recent full council meeting, the county council agreed for a motion proposed by Cllr Jeremy Hilton and seconded by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, which stated, ‘The county council welcomes the decision of the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner to withdraw his bid to takeover the governance of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service. The county council notes that 2017 Police and Crime Act places a duty on the blue light services to work together to provide more effective service to their communities. The county council notes that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has an excellent track record on collaborating with the other emergency services on mutually beneficial projects. The county council notes that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue is currently consulting on its draft Integrated Risk Management Plan for 2018-2021. The county council therefore resolves to support the cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure in opening up discussions with the Police and Crime Commissioner about opportunities for both services to work together on mutually beneficial projects, with both themselves and also with the ambulance service’.

Following this decision, work will begin to identify areas where there is a crossover of skills or information that present new opportunities to collaborate.

Cllr Jeremy Hilton said, “Emergency services across Gloucestershire all have the same goal: to save lives and keep the county safe, and I am extremely proud of the excellent examples of collaboration between fire, police and ambulance services being seen on a daily basis. We need to remember that Gloucestershire pioneered blue light collaboration when the three services opened the TriService Centre at Quedgeley.

“Our unanimous vote at council last week will now enable officers to get on with what they do best, and I look forward to seeing even more joint working across our blue light services in the future.”

Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, said, “Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and colleagues in the police are already demonstrating what can be achieved by working together. By formalising this approach and taking collaboration a stage further, we can keep our county safe whilst delivering even greater value for money to residents.”