This morning I received this letter from the government regarding the proposed take over by the Police of the Fire and Rescue Service. I am extremely disappointed about the announcement made this morning that governance of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue will be handed to Matthew Ellis the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). During the consultation phase opposition to this decision was loud and clear from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council, The Fire Brigades Union and many members of our communities. I am concerned that Matthew Ellis will now embark on a raft of closures of Police Stations, and take money from the FRS budget in order to hide the underfunding in our Public Services.
The FBU have issued the following statement:
Barry Downey – Executive Council Member of the FBU says “The fire brigades union is disappointed that the views of our members in Staffordshire and those of MPs and councillors across the county have been ignored in what appears to be an ideologically driven takeover of governance of the fire service. Our aims remain protecting front line response and maintaining the independence of the service from law enforcement which has historically allowed firefighters to help the most vulnerable in society”