Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire council 'rejects' fire service plans

Fire service vehicles
Image caption The government wants to introduce legislation to allow police and crime commissioners to take on fire service responsibilites

A council has rejected plans to give responsibility for the county fire service to the police and crime commissioner, it has been claimed.

Gloucestershire police boss Martin Surl said he was "hugely disappointed" an offer to discuss the idea with the county council was rejected.

The authority has paid about £25,000 to look into the government proposals.

Gloucestershire County Council said the interim report suggested it would cost money to transfer control to the PCC.

The government wants to introduce legislation to allow PCCs to take over responsibility of fire services.

Mr Surl said the council had already dismissed the idea. "They've declared there's no merit in this," he added.

Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member responsible for the fire service, said the report showed there were "very few, if any, savings to be made".

"Having the service under our control is a major reason for it being one of the most efficient in the country.

"Moving Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service from the county council to the PCC would cost the fire service, the county council and Gloucestershire Police money - no one would make any savings from it."

A council spokesman said there would be a cost to transfer responsibility to the PCC but the exact amount was not yet known.

The report would be finalised "in the next few weeks", he added.

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