Fresh County Hall debate on plans to hand fire service to Sussex’s PCC

Firefighters responding to an incident in Petworth
Firefighters responding to an incident in Petworth

County councillors are due to continue to voice their opposition to plans to transfer West Sussex’s fire service to the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner later this week.

The Government has set out plans to allow PCCs to take over fire and rescue services where a business case can be made as part of a drive for greater cooperation between the emergency services.

Sussex PCC Katy Bourne has set up a group, made up of senior officers from all the public bodies involved, to establish the terms of reference for such a business case.

But proposals have attracted opposition in both East and West Sussex.

West Sussex county councillors are due to discuss a motion at Chichester’s County Hall on Friday (July 22) arguing that the current fire and rescue service model is the ‘right one’, and calling on all members to ‘promote it at every opportunity’.

In his motion, Peter Evans (Con, East Preston and Ferring) said: “This county council recognises the benefits for our residents of the integration of the fire and rescue service with other vital council services and its close working with partners.

“The service is democratically accountable and we believe that the model we are operating in West Sussex is the right one for our county and the communities we serve.”

What do you think of proposals? Comment below or email the newsdesk.

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