The LGA has produced the document with Police and Crime Panel (PCC) members in mind as its primary audience, but we hope it will also be of use to others who have an interest in developing their knowledge of how this essential public service is structured and governed, as well as how it goes about delivering services to communities.
The Government’s clear intention through the Policing and Crime Act 2017 is to see closer collaboration across the emergency services in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness in public safety, and to deliver better outcomes for communities as a result. The Act introduced a statutory duty for police, fire and ambulance services to collaborate. It also created two distinct routes enabling Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to have a direct role in the governance of fire and rescue services – either by becoming one of two forms of new ‘PCC-style’ fire authority, or by being allocated a voting seat on existing fire authorities.
The LGA believes that local areas are best placed to work together to agree the right governance approach for improving efficiency and effectiveness in public services. But whether PCCs become more involved in the work of the fire and rescue service by either of the above governance changes being introduced, or seek to realise the benefits associated with police and fire collaboration by less formal means, the PCPs that hold PCCs to account will need to develop a sound understanding of the fire and rescue.
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