PCC for Surrey, UK announces fire and rescue service to remain under county council control

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Fire engine on the motorway

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey has announced that as he will not be taking over responsibility for the fire service, for the time being, the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SF&RS) will stay under Surrey County Council’s (SCC) control.
Despite announcing this however, the PCC – David Munro – is trying to make sure there’s a closer collaboration between the local fire stations, the fire and rescue service colleagues down in Sussex, and the county council itself.
In addition to this, Munro revealed that he’s “prepared to look at his decision again” is this fails to happen for whatever reason.
The announcement itself keeps in line with the government’s brand new Policing and Crime Act (2017), which openly encourages emergency services to try and be more collaborative, while also giving PCCs the option and ability to take the reins of fire and rescue authorities, should they feel the need to do so.
Munro did categorically state that he isn’t going to take over governance of SF&RS, however he left the door open for that to happen in the future by declaring that the decision is in place “for the time being”.
Currently, SF&RS is managed by SCC, however this could default to the PCC should it fail to successfully collaborate with both neighbouring authorities and local fire stations over the next six months.
Back in January this year, Munro openly called for better cooperation between both Surrey police and SF&RS when his office led a working group attempt to encourage closer working ties.
This announcement was followed by a “detailed project”, which will be assessing whether a change of governance would benefit the residents of Surrey, while also running the rule over the county’s fire and rescue service’s future.

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