St Albans district councillors opposing Herts PCC plans to run county’s fire service

Herts Police Commissioner David Lloyd

Herts Police Commissioner David Lloyd - Credit: Archant

Liberal Democrats on St Albans district council are opposing a proposal by the police commissioner to take control of the county’s fire service.

The commissioner, David Lloyd, has published a business case for bringing Herts Fire & Rescue under his remit, instead of the fire service being run by the county council as it is currently.

Herts county council oppose the proposals and now St Albans district councillors Chris White and Anthony Rowlands have proposed a motion for the council’s meeting on Wednesday, July 11 to request the council’s leader write to the Home Office opposing Mr Lloyd’s proposals.

Cllr White said: “The point of it is to give solidarity to the county council, not because I like the county council particularly, but because they control the fire service and the council unanimously passed a resolution saying it did not want the PCC to take over fire and rescue.

“Herts Fire and Rescue is a county fire service and there are only 16 of those left.”

The commissioner’s business case, submitted to the Home Office, does mention closing police and fire stations such as Hatfield and Hitchin.

Eleven MPs from Hertfordshire have backed the idea, and wrote to the then-Home Secretary Amber Rudd to voice their support.

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Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary and Fire and Rescue will remain separate organisations if the government transfer is effective. Both services would remain independent, with a Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer in charge of their own operational matters.

“If anything, the fire service could be better utilised to provide additional support in protecting vulnerable people as a result of more collaboration work with the police.

“The business case I have sent to the Home Office makes clear that combining the governance of police and fire services improves public safety, improves the resilience of both services and provides services at a lower cost to the public. It also ensures all the money which is raised from the public for the fire service is spent just on the fire service, rather than being diverted into other parts of the council.”