A Local Case For Change Frequently asked questions
Q. Is the ambulance service included in this consultation?
A. Currently the local business case focusses on police and fire only.
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 states that Emergency services have a duty to collaborate but specific to police and fire so the PCC has no legal power to change the governance of the ambulance service.
However, there are opportunities to collaborate more with the Ambulance Service. The Ambulance Service has observer status at the Emergency Services Governance Board.
Police and Fire & Rescue will continue to seek opportunities to collaborate in the future
Q. Will fire stations close?
A. Essex County Fire & Rescue Service is currently delivering their Programme 2020. Under this Programme, none of Essex’s Fire stations will close but there will be some reduction in the number of fire engines and changes to the crewing at some fire stations.
Roger Hirst, the Police and Crime Commissioner is committed to this programme and does not plan to shut any fire stations once the programme completes. The PCC will look to make better and smarter use of buildings and the estate for both services.
Q. What is governance?
A. It is the process for making and implementing decisions, taking responsibility and making sure things are run effectively and efficiently.
Good governance has a positive effect on spending decisions, policies, practices and procedures, quality of service, leadership and conduct.
Q. Will the Home Secretary read the responses residents submit?
A. A summary of the responses will be included in the final local case submitted to the Home Secretary after the conclusion of the consultation.
Q. Will the change in governance impact my council tax?
A. There will continue to be separate police and fire & rescue council tax precepts as is currently the case.
If the PCC takes on the responsibility of the Fire Authority, he will propose the fire precept.
Q. Are other Police and Crime Commissioners are doing this?
A. A number of PCCs are looking at the different options in the Policing and Crime Act 2017; however our understanding is that Essex is the first in the UK to go out to consultation.
Q. Is Kent Police involved?
A. Because Essex Police and Kent Police collaborate cross shared services, the PCC has been engaging closely with Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable. However, no decisions have been made on shared services at this stage.
Q. Where can I find detailed information about the three options?
A. To find out how we scored each of the options, please go to pages 28-38, section 3.2 to 3.4 in the Local Business Case for Joint Governance of Police and Fire & Rescue in Essex. Here you will find detailed information about each of the possible options.
Q. Where will I find the local business case sent to the Home Secretary?
A. It will be published on the consultation website in May: Local Case For Change
Q. Will police officers and fire officers take on each other’s duties?
A. No. Their roles will remain unique.
Q. Do the fire service and police service collaborate already and how?
A. As part of the Emergency Services Collaboration Programme there is Strategic Governance Board.
This board work together to agree collaboration work streams and many joined-up initiatives are up and running. Some examples include:
- Parish Safety Volunteers.
- Development of a Joint Rural Engagement Service.
- Development of a community web portal.
- Essex County Fire & Rescue Service is planning to take on the co-ordination of Community Speed Watch.
- Jointly keeping trunk roads open.
Q. Who is the Fire Authority?
A. Currently Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is governed by the Essex Fire Authority. There are 25 elected members of the authority; nominated by Essex County Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Thurrock Council. Visit their website: The Essex Fire Authority
Q. What happens once the Home Secretary receives the local case for Essex?
A. There is a four week period whereby the Home Secretary considers the plan and confirms her decision.
Q. Where will the savings go?
A. The aim is to reinvest savings into front line services.
Q. What are Essex Police’s and Essex County Fire & Rescue’s role in the consultation?
A. Roger Hirst, the PCC, is leading the consultation. However he works closely with both Essex Police and Essex County Fire & Rescue Service.
Both the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer are members of the Strategic Governance Board. All key stakeholders have contributed to the local business case.
Q. Will staff terms and conditions change?
A. If the transfer takes place there will be no change to staff terms and conditions. There will be a staff consultation if/once the business case is agreed.
Q. What happens if the business case is not approved by the Home Secretary?
A. The Police and Crime Commissioner will look at the other options and do further work on the business case and consider further options.
Q. Where can I find the police and crime act 2017