As part of the Local Government Reform programme the governance of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) will be transferring to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) from April 2023 following a decision announced this week by the Home Secretary.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall makes it clear that this affects the governance responsibility for CFRS, currently held by the County Council which will cease to exist in April 2023 and that the responsibility for delivery of its operational capability remains with the Chief Fire Officer.
Speaking on the announcement, PCC Peter McCall, said: “As the County Council is replaced next year by two Unitary Authorities and new potential legislation will require a nominated and elected individual to assume responsibility for fire governance, it makes sense to bring governance together with the Office of the PCC which already carries out a similar function for policing. The essential mission is to ensure that there is no disruption to the delivery of Fire and Rescue Services to the public across the county and the protection of support services and staff in a smooth transition which will take some time.
He went on to say: “I see my role, in addition to governance of CFRS on behalf of the public is to support the service by seeking the best possible resource for this essential service, to improve infrastructure and ensure that we develop staff, training and equipment, to be ready for future challenges and above all to keep residents safe.”
Cllr Jonathan Brook of Westmorland and Furness Authority stated that: “The transfer of Fire and Rescue Service governance to the Police and Crime Commissioner is a pragmatic solution, providing a common focus for Blue Light Service delivery across the county.
“I look forward to working together in partnership to help deliver the best possible services to all residents of Cumbria.”
Cllr Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue, said: “As a Fire Authority, we will ensure that Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service have the support they need to ensure a smooth transition to the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service deliver amazing work throughout the county to ensure the people of Cumbria and our visitors are kept safe and we wish the Service every success in their future.”