Warwickshire and West Midlands fire services set to collaborate - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire and West Midlands fire services set to collaborate

Leamington Editorial 22nd Feb, 2018   0

FIRE chiefs in Warwickshire and the West Midlands are looking to forge a closer working relationship.

A review will be carried out to see how best Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Fire Service can collaborate.

Fire chiefs were quick to stress the review was about collaboration and not a merger, with the aim to deliver the most effective and efficient services to residents in both Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Warwickshire chief fire officer Andy Hickmott said: “It is vital that we collaborate to ensure that we maintain and improve the way that we deliver our services.

“We share a physical border of 130km and already have a close working relationship with West Midlands Fire Service and so it makes perfect sense for us to look at further ways of working together.

“We must strive to ensure that our standards of service are achieved as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Phil Loach, chief fire officer for West Midlands Fire Service, was equally convinced collaboration was the way forward.

He said “Closer working between fire services remains as a strong option to maintain and enhance public safety, support healthier communities and contribute to inclusive economic growth, this partnership will do that in an efficient and effective way.”

But Warwick and Leamington Labour MP Matt Western wants to know more about the plans.

He said: “The current Conservative-led administration is planning to further cut more than £1.5million from Warwickshire’s fire service budget over the next two years.

“I am keen to understand what parameters the two services are working to and to what efficiency improvements they are being tasked to make for this to be a valid project.”

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