Potential collaboration to add to fire service’s partnership portfolio

Cambridgeshire's fire service could add another collaboration to its books in a last minute move by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

A late offer for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service to consider a collaboration with Cambridgeshire Constabulary regarding its plans to build a new fire station,  training facility and headquarters in Huntingdon was put to the Fire Authority policy and resources committee yesterday (June 30).

Little detail was available of the offer from the newly elected PCC Jason Ablewhite at the meeting, at which members decided they would consider the PCC’s proposal when more information was provided ahead of another meeting of members on July 21.

If the collaboration to share land or any buildings with the police were to go ahead, it would add to the Service’s extensive partnership portfolio that includes a combined fire control with Suffolk Fire and Rescue, shared ICT service with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue and co-responding trial with East of England Ambulance Service Trust.

Sir Peter Brown, Chairman of the Fire Authority, said: “It is great that the police are looking to collaborate with us across our service area and we are keen to find ways to work with them that will improve the services we deliver, improve resilience, and potentially save the tax payer money.

“We are a leading fire service when it comes to forming partnerships and developing collaborations and we have successfully progressed many joint ventures with a wide range of partners over the years.

“We are pleased we now have the opportunity to explore such collaborative opportunities with a fellow emergency service and although our plans for the St John’s site are progressing well, it is only right for the tax payer that we further investigate the Commissioner’s offer to see if it provides a more cost effective and efficient option. We need a few weeks to fully consider the financial and operational impact and we can then make a decision about what is best for the people we serve.