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It has been announced that the Home Office has approved the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposals to bring together the governance for fire and police services within West Mercia.

The Commissioner believes that by changing governance arrangements for our local fire services in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin we can deliver more effective, efficient services to our communities.

Prior to the Home Office approving the Commissioner’s proposals, a three-month public consultation was carried out (running from 12 June 2017 to 11 September 2017). More than 1,300 responses were received, of which 60.7% were in favour of single governance. Along with the consultation results, a business case, which outlined that the changes could significantly improve local police and fire services and save the taxpayer £4m a year, without impacting frontline services, was submitted to the Home Office for consideration.

The change to single police and fire governance requires a statutory instrument to be laid in Parliament. The precise timings of this are a matter for Government. After this, the first stage involves transferring the governance over to the Commissioner’s office, the second stage involves working closely with the two Chief Fire Officers and creating a plan for the future model and the final stage involves the implementation.

All documents relating to this process can be found below:

See the commitments the PCC would hold himself to as Commissioner for local fire services

Read the initial business case setting out the recommendations and evidence for change

Read the final business case as well as the consultation results, analysis and the PCC’s responses

Find answers to some of the questions you may have around this subject 

Read the letter that was sent from the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, announcing the decision

Read the independent assessment from CIPFA