• Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cambridge

Proposal for a change to fire and rescue service governance in Cambridgeshire

The Police and Crime Commissioner has submitted a business case to the Home Office proposing that he takes over responsibility for the governance of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service from the Fire Authority.

 

This submission follows extensive consultation over the summer and recommends that there would be a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner who would hold both the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer to account for the delivery on an efficient and effective service.

The submission comprises four documents which can be downloaded below.

 

Letter to the Home Secretary

 

 

 

 


Full Business Case

 

 

 

 

Consultation Report

 

 

 

Response to upper tier authorities

 

 

Next steps (estimated dates)

Oct                              Submit to the Home Secretary

Oct – Dec                   Home Secretary to review business case

Dec 2017                    Home Secretary decision on whether to approve business case

Jan onwards              If approved, prepare for transition to new governance arrangements

TBA                             Implementation of new governance arrangements

 

 

Easy read update of where we are now

 

 

 

Background information

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduced measures that place a statutory obligation on all emergency services to explore opportunities for further collaboration between organisations. This legislation also made amendments to the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 to enable Police and Crime Commissioners to take on responsibility (or the governance) for fire and rescue services in their area.

The legislation provided for three different options (or Models) through which the Police and Crime Commissioner could have a greater role in the governance of the fire and rescue service, these being the:

  • Representation Model: A Police and Crime Commissioner has a seat and voting rights on the Fire Authority thus becoming the 18th member of the Fire Authority
  • Governance Model (referred to as a ‘PCC-style FRA’ Model): A Police and Crime Commissioner takes on the functions of the Fire Authority and becomes a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
  • Single Employer Model: There is a single Chief Officer for police and fire personnel under the governance of a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority jointly commissioned independent consultants to assess the police and fire governance options in Cambridgeshire.

The Local Business Case for Cambridgeshire considered the three Models above, and a ‘No Change’ Model, this being where a police force and fire and rescue service continue to have governance arrangements that are independent of each other.

The Local Business Case recommended that the PCC-style FRA Governance Model offered the greatest benefit.

Before submitting the proposal to the Home Secretary the Commissioner ran a 9 week consultation from 03 July to 04 September 2017.

All related documents to the consultation and the reports that followed can be found on this page.

Why is this the preferred option?

The Governance model was assessed as the best option as it would enable:

  • Savings through simpler governance processes

It is estimated there will be £1.69 million of savings over 10 years through savings in Fire Authority members’ allowances and the sharing of the Chief Financial Officer post

  • Savings through better use of the fire and police estates

Better use of police and fire estates will initially require investment but is expected to provide financial benefits of £4.34 million over 10 years.

  • Closer and quicker joint working between fire and police, and their local partners improving public safety

Having a single decision making person, the PFCC helps speed up decision making and helps ensure that strategies and decisions are joined up across organisations, therefore improving public safety.

  • Increased accountability through a directly elected Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

You would vote for a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner every four years as you do for a PCC.

  • Operational independence of police and fire is maintained

The operational responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service will sit with the Chief Fire Officer and with the Chief Constable for Police.

 

What would change?

The Fire and Rescue Service is currently overseen by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority. The business case recommends that governance of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service transfers to the Police and Crime Commissioner who would become the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

  • Operational responsibility for fire and police would remain with the Chief Fire Officer and the  Chief Constable.
  • The PFCC would continue to be responsible for setting policing priorities through the Police and Crime Plan, and have responsibility for controlling police assets.
  • The PFCC would become the holder of fire assets and contracts, as for the police.
  • The PFCC would become the employer of all fire and rescue staff (the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Constabulary would continue to employ police officers and staff).
  • The PFCC will be responsible for such things as decisions on fire and rescue service budget and whether new fire service facilities should be built or shared with other emergency services.

 

Background documents to the business case and the consultation

 

 

Read the two page briefing

 

 

 

 

Read the Executive Summary (7 pages)  

 

 

 

Read the Full Business Case (89 pages)

  

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

 

 

 

Plain English Version

 

 

 

 

EASYREAD version