Rain

Rain

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk/Cambridgeshire: Fire service merger on indefinite hold

09:00 05 February 2013

Plans to merge two fire services have been put on hold

Plans to merge two fire services have been put on hold

Archant

PROPOSALS to merge Suffolk and Cambridgeshire fire services were hanging by a thread today after the link-up was delayed indefinitely.

shares

In December, Suffolk admitted that the earliest the merger could take place was 2015 – but warned that the following year was more likely.

Now the chairman of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough fire authority has said that potential savings were not as great as had initially been thought – and that meant the merger had been put on hold.

Fred Brown told his authority: “A full merger could still happen and will probably take place when a clear line cannot be drawn between the two services.”

However, there was now no timescale for the link-up.

The revelation comes less than two months after Suffolk’s cabinet member responsible for public safety, Colin Spence, said that any merger was at least two years away.

And he warned: “Before any decision is taken, a joint full business case must be presented for consideration by the fire authorities in both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

“There is a considerable amount of work to do to ensure the business case provides members with the necessary information on which they can take a properly informed decision about the future of both services.”

There was a public consultation about the future of the fire service at the end of last year – but now it looks as if the full merger is unlikely.

However, Mr Brown did say that the two authorities would continue to work closer together – they already share a control room at Huntingdon. There was still room for further savings to be made through shared training, firefighter training and back-office functions.

Mark Hardingham, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s deputy chief fire officer, said: “The most recent developments have provided a strong indication that a potential merger will not go ahead at this time.

“However, no formal decision has yet been taken.

“These developments are associated with the necessary assurances from DCLG, the outcome of the recent public consultation and the potential relaxation on council tax referendum limits that have been afforded to eight fire authorities, including Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority.”

shares

0 comments

Police attend the scene of a major incident near the train station in Bury st Edmunds on Tuesday 4th August.

Police have spoken to reassure residents after a man was shot in the stomach in Bury St Edmunds this evening.

The scene of an accident on the A1088 at Honington.

A doctor from Ixworth who died in a road traffic accident in west Suffolk has been described as “highly regarded” within his profession and “popular”.

AcCormorant flies near the Round Pond in Christchurch Park.

A cormorant was spotted diving in to the water in the Round Pond at Christchurch Park in Ipswich today.

The hoodie hides most of this man's face

The value of e-fits was defended last night as new figures reveal only one image released to the public in the past three years has resulted in an arrest.

Maritime Festival at Ipswich Waterfront.

Historic vessels, Old Gaffers, a food market and a funfair will all line the Waterfront for the annual maritime extravaganza later this month.

Can you spot him? Andrew Hawes in the camouflage gear he plans to use to catch people not clearing up after their dogs.

Hollywood actor Hugh Grant is apparently backing campaigners in a Suffolk town who plan to post photos of dog walkers on the internet if they fail to clean up after their pets.

The scene of an accident on the A1088 at Honington.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore has insisted a new roads policing unit “will happen”, as a fatal road accident in Honington yesterday claimed the life of another driver.

Families enjoyed the warm weather at Georges Funday at Whitton United football ground on Saturday 1st August. The event will help raise funds towards a new wheelchair for George Woodward.

More than 1,000 people turned out at Whitton United Football Club in Ipswich on Saturday, to help raise funds for a child with a rare muscular condition.

Officers detain a reveller in Ipswich town centre.

A clamp down on off-licences selling super-strength alcohol has been cited as a key reason behind a sharp drop in the number of people boozing and brawling in the streets of Ipswich.

Police are investigating

A woman in her 90s has had her handbag stolen from her car while it was parked at the Village Rise shops in Lowestoft on Saturday.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages