The Home Office has announced that Police and Crime Commissioners will be able to make the case for taking responsibility of their local fire and rescue service.

In theory, this means PCCs would hold fire services to account, bring about closer working between all blue light services and potentially create a single employer for both police and fire personnel. It is hoped the model would eventually provide better money for taxpayers and more efficient and effective ways of working.

But West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson reminded people it was very early days.

Mr Jamieson said: “I have been, and remain, agnostic to this idea and it is very early days. We are nowhere near things such as ‘business models’ for example.

“However, I have had a number of meaningful discussions with the Fire Authority, senior fire officials and trade unions representing both police staff and firefighters.

“I am now holding further talks to look at the benefits to the public of such a plan. I am keen to avoid a ‘forced marriage’ of both services at all costs. Whatever happens in the future, it has to be efficient, effective and benefit the people of the West Midlands.”

More than 300 responses were collected from national, local and regional organisations, police forces, PCCs, fire and rescue authorities, local councils, ambulance trusts, frontline practitioners, associations and other interested groups and individuals during a public consultation into the plan.

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