Fire Brigade Union asks McCall to withdraw PFCC proposal


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The Fire Brigade Union (FBU) has written to Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall to ask him to drop plans to become Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) after the public rejected the proposal in a consultation as ‘bundling fire and police helps no one”.

Ed Burrows, Fire Brigades Union North West regional secretary, said: “The consultation response was clear: Cumbria fire and rescue service should not be run by a PFCC. We fully expect McCall that will follow through on this consultation by taking the next step and withdrawing the plan.

“Bundling fire in with the police helps no one. It could lead to cuts that affect the fire and rescue service disproportionality, and lead to three fire station closures.”

Of the 363 public and stakeholder responses to the consultation less than half (46%) of respondents said they would like to to see a PFCC in Cumbria, whilst 54% preferred the option of a Combined Fire and Rescue Authority.

The Fire Brigades Union has criticised McCall’s plan to become PFCC on various grounds, including the fact it could lead to three fire station closures, putting 18 jobs at risk.

The station closures have been predcited as stations in Frizington, Arnside and Stavely have previously been threatened with closure, and the FBU said there are financial concerns over a future PFCC having the latitude to implement cuts that impact fire disproportionately relative to the police, and requiring funds to bulk up his office to administer the fire and rescue service, which could come out of the fire and rescue budget.

The letter also said “We also note that the financial issues surrounding any takeover of governance have still not been provided, we request that this information is shared with us when produced”.

To date, no financial assessment for viability of a change to a PFCC has been produced.

The letter can be read in full on the Fire Brigades Union website.

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