Lancashire’s fire service resists bid for control by Police

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw
Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw

Central government is putting increasing pressure for governance of Lancashire’s fire service to fall under the remit of the county’s police and crime commissioner.

Previously the county’s PCC, Clive Grunshaw, had said the fire authority and the police could collaborate without the need for change to corporate governance.

And Fire Authority board members remain confident current arrangements remain the best way to deliver fire and rescue services across the county.

Essex was the first service to come under control of the PCC and six further authorities are under consideration.

A report has updated Lancashire Combined Fire Authority members on collaboration with police.

It states: “Since the introduction of police and crime commissioners in 2012, there has been an increasing pressure from central government for them to have a greater involvement with Fire.

“Throughout the development of the collaboration agenda, the authority’s consistent position has been how to deliver the best outcomes for the communities it serves.”

In January last year, the Policing and Crime Act received royal assent and provided scope for PCCs to take on responsibility for the governance of fire services and become Police, Fire and Crime Comissioners.

The report added: “The authority reaffirmed its commitment to collaboration but remained strongly of the view that current governance arrangements best served LFRS and the communities of Lancashire. This position will inform a motion going before Lancashire County Council on May 24.”