Statement from Fire Authority Chair on the Decision to Commission an Analysis of the West Mercia PCC Business Case

13th July, 2017

Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority have jointly commissioned a piece of work to carry out an analysis of the PCC for West Mercia’s business case to take over the Fire and Rescue Service.

"We considered the situation to be similar to a takeover bid in the commercial world and in this context the Fire and Rescue Authorities fulfil the function of a board of directors and our shareholders are the councils and communities we serve. Therefore it is the Fire and Rescue Authority’s duty to undertake due diligence in making sure we can provide our “shareholders” with the right information to decide whether they should resist the proposed takeover by the PCC or support it.

"The Fire and Rescue Authority felt the most open and transparent way to do this was to commission an independent team of experts to analyse the business case and consider its merit against other options. They will be able to tell us whether the £4m of savings stack up, where they would need to come from and what impact this might have on our Fire Service. We still believe there is another way to make all the proposed improvements and efficiencies without the cost and disruption of such a big change – just by working together better.

"We expect the consultants to provide us with a report before the end of July which we hope will provide enough time for our councils to come to a fully informed decision before the end of Mr Campion’s consultation period.

"We currently have two very high performing Fire and Rescue Services and this is a big decision to make in a very short time. We still believe local fire services are best when they are led by locally elected people but we want to make sure all the implications of any change are fully understood by the councils and people before any decisions are made."

Cllr Eric Carter
Chair
Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority