Fire Authority Chair, Michelle Hodgson (left) with PCC Ron Hogg (right)
OPPORTUNITIES for the fire and police services across the region to work more closely together have reached an important stage.
Estates, IT, back office services and training are just some of the areas where there should be joint-working in the future across County Durham and Darlington. In addition, the control rooms will serve as back-up for each other in the event of a significant disruptive event such as a natural disaster.
A signed “Statement of Intent”, agreed last December, set out the two organisations’ intentions to work more closely together and to enhance co-operation and collaboration.
Ron Hogg, Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, said: “This latest development really embeds our shared vision to continue to work more closely together.
“Not only will this reduce some duplication and achieve cost savings to both organisations, but it will also ensure joint working is at the forefront of decision making, for areas such as training, IT and our estates. All proposals to be considered ensure that the benefits to the community are at the heart of future working arrangements.”
Chair of County Durham and Darlington Combined Fire Authority, Councillor Michele Hodgson, said: “There is a very constructive relationship between the fire and rescue service and police in this area; we already work very closely operationally, in training, on special projects and by sharing facilities and expertise. This gives us a strong base to build on as we consider further collaboration.
“Providing an efficient and effective emergency response for the communities of County Durham and Darlington is our number one priority; any proposals that aim to help us do this must be carefully considered.”
Gary Ridley, Assistant Chief Officer at Durham Constabulary, said: “We have been deemed to be outstanding as a force at delivering an efficient service but that does not mean we can rest on our laurels.
“We see the Fire and Rescue Service as one of our key partners and are looking to build upon the already excellent working relationships we have with them to deliver value for money for the people of County Durham and Darlington.”
The police and fire services already work well together operationally, and share estates and facilities such as a joint station at Newton Aycliffe and training centre at Bowburn.
Business cases giving more details about these proposals will be considered by the Durham and Darlington Fire/Police Joint Strategic Board in July.
Posted on Wednesday 18th May 2016