Norfolk

Norfolk police commissioner Lorne Green drops fire service takeover

Lorne Green
Image caption Norfolk PCC Lorne Green said he would shelve his plan to take over control of the county's fire and rescue service - for now

A Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has dropped his proposal to take over the running of a fire service.

Norfolk PCC Lorne Green wanted control of the county's fire and rescue service to switch from the county council to his office.

He said despite 59% of people backing his plan in a public consultation, now was "not the right time" to go ahead.

Norfolk County Council said it already had a "collaborative relationship" with police.

'Continued opposition'

The PCC had said a joint commissioner could mean a saving of £10m in 10 years due to better police partnerships.

However, he has now announced he will not submit a final business case to the Home Secretary due to the council's "continued opposition".

Mr Green said: "I will keep the situation under close review... should circumstances change, a case can be submitted. The lights are amber.

"Norfolk County Council's continued opposition means it has not been possible to achieve local consensus.

"The council's co-operation and support has a significant impact on the likelihood that the change could be delivered successfully."

Mr Green said more than 7,700 people took part in the consultation and he now planned to get a place on the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Authority.

Image copyright Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The county council has been responsible for Norfolk Fire and Rescue since 1974

The Conservative-led council, which has run Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) for 44 years, had opposed the plans alongside the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

Margaret Dewsbury, who chairs the council's communities committee, said: "We already have a well-established collaborative relationship with Norfolk police.

"Working together, we have achieved a lot and are committed to making sure this continues."

A petition against the proposal, set up by the Norfolk FBU, gathered more than 1,700 signatures.

Spokesman Riccardo La Torre said: "Lorne Green has come to the right position not to proceed.

"I am not surprised because some of the information provided in Lorne Green's business case was not clear."

Mr La Torre added collaborative working between the fire and police services was already happening.

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