Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, Chair of Communities Committee at Norfolk County Council, said:
“At this stage we are unconvinced about the Police and Crime Commissioner’s claim that this proposed change of governance will deliver £10m of savings over the indicated 10 year period. There is no clear evidence that any savings would be easier to achieve through a change in governance as opposed to continuing our very successful track record of collaboration and joint working. The PCC has admitted that upfront costs to change the governance structure would be needed and that is money that would need to be found now.
“We are also concerned that the majority of the suggested £10m savings over 10 years would be delivered through buildings rationalisation – therefore putting the future of our fire stations at risk across a county the size of Norfolk.
“The key difference between the two organisations is that the police service is organised based on demand, whilst fire and rescue is based on risk. The business case fails to recognise this fundamental principle. Some of the proposed changes appear to be based on generating savings rather than an assessment of risk, and consideration of the statutory Integrated Risk Management Plan which guides how the service is organised.
“The PCC’s published business case is detailed and we will evaluate it fully so we are able to comment in more detail.”
For more information please visit: www.norfolk.gov.uk