Michael Fabricant said in the House of Commons today, 14th December, to the Secretary of State of Communities and Local Government that he has lost confidence in the Staffordshire Fire Authority and that they should combine with the Staffordshire Police under proposals made by Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): I have lost confidence in the Staffordshire fire authority, which has decided to build a brand new fire station in Lichfield, but to reduce the number of appliances to half of that which it is presently. Will my right hon. Friend work with Matthew Ellis, the police and crime in commissioner in Staffordshire, who has good, positive plans to combine the police and fire services for the betterment of the whole county?
Greg Clark: That is the purpose of the consultation that we have embarked on: to remove the barriers that have prevented that kind of collaboration. I am very interested in what my hon. Friend has to say about the proposals in Staffordshire.
Michael now says “Staffordshire fire fighters and local residents have been badly let down by the Fire Authority. Matthew Ellis has made proposals that will combine back office functions while strengthening front line services. The Fire Authority instead wish to preserve their own fiefdom at the cost of safety.
“The replacement of one of the two main fire tenders with a smaller vehicle which is unsuitable for house fires or major road traffic accidents is a disgrace when reorganisation could have maintained the existing vehicles and full fire protection.
“While fire fighters and police officers would maintain independence from each other, the merging of back-office functions – as happens in other countries – could provide efficiency savings while enhancing firefighting capabilities.”