John Campion says police and fire service improvements now need to be delivered for local communities, as Courts throw out the Fire Authorities Judicial Review of process.
The PCC set out his initial business case for single governance in 2017. It highlights a range of service improvements and efficiencies that can be delivered by ensuring better collaboration between local police and fire services. The plan was supported by local communities via consultation, as well as by independent experts and the Government.
The two local Fire Authorities have tried to block the change, by applying for a judicial review of the technical process the Government followed. However, a High Court judge has today confirmed that the process followed by the Government was lawful, giving the green light for the transition to single governance to begin.
John Campion said: “The benefits of joint governance have been clearly and consistently acknowledged. It is a change that can deliver significant benefits to our communities and our police and fire services, by focusing resources on front line emergency service deliver.”
“This process has gone on long enough. The significant cost the Fire Authorities have incurred and the delay orchestrated have done nothing to help our police and fire services, nor the communities of West Mercia. Two years on from when I published my business case, the potential improvements within it remain almost entirely untouched. I don’t believe that is what our communities want, need or expect. The money that the Fire Authorities are spending on expensive legal fees could be better spent on frontline firefighters and the resources they need to keep us safe. I hope the Government will now progress joint governance without delay that will focus on delivering the best possible services to our communities.”
Issued: Monday 29th July 2019