Commitment for future collaboration between Thames Valley Fire and Rescue Services and Police
The commitment was formalised by the signing of a joint ‘memorandum of understanding’ between the four organisations and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld. The memorandum of understanding focuses on sharing property and the co-location of police and fire and rescue services, wherever such arrangements will benefit the local community.
The police and the three fire and rescue services currently have a substantial collective property portfolio, with buildings spread over a total of 202 sites across the Thames Valley. Sharing property and co-locating will have several advantages, including enabling all four organisations to reduce the costs of maintaining fit-for-purpose buildings in the face of increasing financial pressure. It will also enable police and fire services to take advantage of other opportunities for greater collaboration that may arise, which will be made easier by staff working from the same locations.
Councillor Rodney Rose Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for the fire service said: “We already share Council property, for example some of our libraries, with Thames Valley Police and we are working with them to identify future opportunities for co-location. The approach of sharing properties is an excellent way for our various organisations to save money and work more effectively together.”
Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, said: “I am delighted that Thames Valley Police, myself and the fire and rescue services in the Thames Valley have been able to strengthen our partnership by joining together in signing a memorandum of understanding.
“Working effectively with partner organisations plays a significant role in improving performance and decreasing costs. With continued cuts in public sector spending it is more important than ever that all public sector bodies investigate cost saving options and work collaboratively with their partners.
“I hope that by working together and co-locating we can both reduce costs and create opportunities for further collaborative work.”
Notes to Editors:
The memorandum of understanding was signed by:
- Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority
- Councillor Rodney Rose, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue, Emergency Planning and Community Safety at Oxfordshire City Council
- Councillor Adrian Busby, Chairman of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority
- Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley
- Francis Habgood, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police
The memorandum of understanding is a discrete piece of work and is not connected with the proposals regarding provisions that would enable Police and Crime Commissioners to assume responsibility for fire and rescue services, where a local case is made for this to happen.
Those proposals are currently being considered by Members from the three Thames Valley Fire Authorities, who have provided formal responses to the consultation on behalf of their respective fire and rescue services by the closing date of 23 October.