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Posted by: John Brace | 29th September 2015

Why is the government consulting on abolishing fire and rescue authorities in England?

Why is the government consulting on abolishing fire and rescue authorities in England?

                                                          

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority Police and Fire Collaboration Committee 1st September 2015 Left Jane Kennedy (Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside) Right Sir John Murphy (Chief Constable, Merseyside Police)

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority Police and Fire Collaboration Committee 1st September 2015 Left Jane Kennedy (Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside) Right Sir John Murphy (Chief Constable, Merseyside Police)

Earlier this month I filmed the first meeting of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s Police and Fire Collaboration Committee and blogged about its first meeting.

Around the time of that meeting, there had been talk of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority possibly being abolished and transferred to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority if Merseyside had an elected Mayor which would happen at the earliest in May 2017. This formed part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s proposals to central government for greater devolution (as reported on this blog).

Since then the government has started a consultation (which finishes on the 23rd October 2015) called the Emergency Services Collaboration Consultation which proposes abolishing all fire and rescue authorities in England and transferring their powers to the Police and Crime Commissioner (on the left of the photo above).

This article in the Guardian about the consultation on the proposals has the opening two sentences which sum things up, "What do you do if you’re part of a government that believes in decimating the fire and rescue service as a means to making "efficiency savings", only to find yourself regularly thwarted by elected councillors who sit on the local fire and rescue authority? Answer: abolish the fire and rescue authority."

For those opposed to the proposed Saughall Massie fire station, the concept of such savings being thwarted by councillors on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will sound strange. The opposition to the plans for a fire station at Saughall Massie are coming from the local Conservative councillors for Moreton West and Saughall Massie and local residents compared to the councillors on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority who are unanimously in favour of closing Upton and West Kirby fire stations and a replacement fire station at Saughall Massie.

It 2012 the Merseyside Police Authority (made up half of local councillors and half of independents) was scrapped and replaced with a Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner. It would seem the Conservative government wants to do something similar to what the Coalition government did to the police authorities in 2012, but this time to the fire and rescue authorities in England.

What happened to the police authorities and their replacement with police and crime commissioners plus police and crime panels was part of the Coalition agreement:

"We will introduce measures to make the police more accountable through oversight by a directly elected individual, who will be subject to strict checks and balances by locally elected representatives."
 

The Conservative 2015 manifesto stated "We will enable fire and police services to work more closely together and develop the role of our elected and accountable Police and Crime Commissioners." but didn’t go as far as stating the fire and rescue authorities would be abolished and their functions transferred to the police and crime commissioners.

This government consultation on abolishing with fire and rescue authorities for England, shows a national political will for less oversight by local councillors of the fire services in England and goes against the grain of the localism agenda.

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Responses

  1. G’day John

    A fine sunny day to read the Beverley Report.

    John I suggest you start at the back.

    Damning Damning Damning

    Even I thought we were in the wrong in the first half as she was spinning hard but she was compromised like Garry. (Good payout)

    You have to bear in mind that “Highbrow” was still employed at the time of the writing of this report and there were a lot of things he was ordered not to say.

    John the appendices could not be shone like some of the opinions early in the report particularly on the Big cases.

    The one that Grant Thornton suggested go to the police doesn’t even get a mention.

    I would love to know who the accountant in REgeNeratiOn that looked at Let’s Go.

    Bet you can guess?

    Ooroo

    James

    I think Ecca might be building a better council John but there is still a lot more crud to go the way of AdderleyDadderlyDooDah, Gra Gra and ANOTHER closely linked.

    • Wirral Council are still paying invoices to Let’s Go! publishing (see below for one of at least seven invoices from 2014/15). "Let’s go!" seems to be what happens to Wirral Council officers involved in BIG/ISUS issues.

      Of course this doesn’t mean that Kevin Adderley’s early retirement on the 21st September 2015, followed by the release of the BIG/ISUS internal audit report from 2012 on the 28th September 2015 are in any way connected at all does it?

      Wirral Council invoice 476 Lets Go Publishing Ltd Full page adverts Good2Go magazine Teen Invigor8 May 2014 £470 plus VAT thumbnail

  2. G’day John

    “Highbrow” tested one of the new names from the Beverley Report and they went bad before Gra Gra’s meeting of 8 October 2014 and do you know my boy he stood there and said there was only two according to the genius that is “Highbrow” who they hopelessly try to defame.

    John if even the CEO lies in public to us….and everyone and on your filum how is there not a conspiracy against us whistleblowers?

    Davies and Jones were both up to their voluminous derriere’s in REgeNeratiOn so is that why they hid the report for four years I ask “Ecca”?

    I presume it was Gra Gra that didn’t like me traducing the senior officers and councillors at Wirral on social media.

    Well I challenge anyone in the whole world to tell me why senior officers and 65 councillors, excluding of course Stuart Kelly, why they should not be traduced, or, I would even go so far as to say sacked?

    You can’t just lie for four and a half years in the public sector.

    Or can you.

    Ooroo

    James

    Where is that Administration John?

    Go get some more out Ecca.

  3. G’day John

    So AdderleyDadderlyDooDah told me no Big recipient had gone bad when I met him and Basnett on 5 July 2011 to blow the whistle on Wirral “Funny” Bizz.

    Well well well John “Highbrow” out of his small sample of nine, five had gone arse up.

    No wonder they wouldn’t let the Grant Thornton Investigator look at the others 30 or 40 or however many there were.

    I suspect someone with a name that sounds like “Phil the Deluded Dill” would be in court if not jail if they had been looked at.

    There is still time Ecca to do that exercise.

    Beverleys report, like Garrys, in the words were very favourable to the council but there was no evidence apart from Beverley’s appendices that were damning.

    65 councillors John and a number of senior officers owe us an apology at least John and this will just continue to be repeated and officers traduced until THE RIGHT THING is done.

    That word traduced tickles you doesn’t it you larrikin you.

    How can they let dingbats get away with £2,000,000.00?

    The Beverley Report even said that proper checking was just not done by anybody apparently with regard to ISUS.

    As I have said for four and a half years it seems nobody understands the difference between a cash flow statement and a profit and loss statement whatever gloss and defaming of the whistleblowers went on.

    Ooroo

    James

    Davies and Jones were all over REgeNeratiOn in the ISUS days and even worse according to “Highbrow” in the Working Neighbourhoods days.

    John Wirral Most Improved Council in the Country ha ha ha cannot move forward until this is resolved.


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