Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite welcomed Brandon Lewis, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service at Police headquarters in Huntingdon to meet police and fire chiefs.
The Minister was in the county to discuss current and future joint working between the police and fire services with the Police and Crime Commissioner alongside Chief Fire Officer, Chris Strickland, Fire Authority Chairman, Sir Peter Brown and Chief Constable Alec Wood.
The Government is taking forward legislation to enable Police and Crime Commissioners to take responsibility for their local fire and rescue services, where a local case has been made. This is part of a raft of changes to bring about closer working between the police, fire and rescue and NHS ambulance services to improve the way they serve communities, protect the public and provide value for money for taxpayers.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said: “Cambridgeshire Police and Fire services already work closely together. I believe the new legislation will open the door to better ways of working and I have asked the Fire Authority to produce a business case to identify the best way forward.
Chairman of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority Sir Peter Brown added: “The Minister’s interest in what we are doing in Cambridgeshire is welcomed. We are proactive in working with others where it makes sense to do so from an economic or service improvement point of view. We currently have a fire service that offers excellent value for money and we continually look to improve and be even better. Collaborating further or integrating parts of the Service with our emergency services will enable us to achieve further improvement and I look forward to continuing discussions with the Police and Crime Commissioner about opportunities to do this.”
Brandon Lewis, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, said: “It has been a pleasure to visit the police and fire services in Cambridgeshire to hear about the important emergency services collaboration work taking place. Collaboration is key to enabling the emergency services to deliver value for money and better protect the public and it is great to see Cambridgeshire driving this forward.”