29 September, 2017

Public and workforce back Julia Mulligan’s plans to oversee North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

The public and workforce have resoundingly supported proposals from the Police and Crime Commissioner to take on oversight of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Julia Mulligan’s consultation, which closed last Friday, received responses from over 2,500 people, including the public, fire fighters, police, staff and a wide range of other interested parties.

Julia, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: “I am heartened that so many people got involved in my consultation and had their say. This is all about improving the service to the public and ensuring we continue to properly protect people into the future.

“What’s more, with only 30 per cent of the total preferring to retain the Fire Authority, it is clear that there is great appetite for change to improve the way the fire and police services work together. People have consistently told me that this makes a lot of common sense. For example, it’s a nonsense that there are two HQs in the same town, when we could be sharing.”

The results revealed that 71 per cent of the public and 61 per cent of the workforce want a change in oversight, with only 30 per cent of the total opting to retain the Fire Authority. The largest proportion (56 per cent off the public and 41 per cent of the workforce) backed Julia’s preferred option, which would mean replacing the Fire Authority with a ‘Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’, whilst ensuring the two services remain independent of one another, each led by their own Chief.

As a consequence of this support, Julia will now review the consultation responses in detail, in order to finalise her business case for submission to the Home Office in mid-October. Earlier this month, the proposals were rejected by North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council, which means that the business case will be subject to an independent assessment before the Home Secretary makes her final decision.

Julia added: “It is very disappointing that the councils do not support my proposals and have opted to put vested interests first. This means additional expense to the public and a prolonged process, when we could be getting on with the job, putting the public first.

“What’s more, during the past few weeks, I have also raised serious concerns about how the fire service is being managed right now. Fortunately, the Fire Authority has listened, seen the error of its ways and performed a spectacular U-turn on its flawed fire cover review, which I welcome. However, this also clearly demonstrates that the current arrangements are not fit for purpose and that change is needed.

“I’d like to thank the workforce and the public for their support and in the meantime, will continue to challenge the status quo.”

Survey results

Public survey

Public survey Count %
Option 1: Representation Model 671 29%
Option 2: Governance Model 1318 56%
Option 3: Single Employer Model 352 15%
Grand Total 2341 100%

Staff survey

Staff survey Count %
Option 1: Representation Model 82 39%
Option 2: Governance Model 85 41%
Option 3: Single Employer Model 41 20%
Grand Total 208 100%

Combines totals

Combined totals Count %
Option 1: Representation Model 753 30%
Option 2: Governance Model 1403 55%
Option 3: Single Employer Model 393 15%
Grand Total 2549 100%