Home Office approves Cambridgeshire crime chief’s plan to take over running of fire service

Jaosn Ablewhite
Jaosn Ablewhite
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The Home Office has given the go-ahead for Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite to take on responsibility for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The decision announced today (Monday, March 26) means Mr Ablewhite now becomes the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner after replacing the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority.

The fire authority had previously criticised the plans which it said “could be a costly and unnecessary change in governance arrangements” and could also “reduce the ability of local people to influence the activities of their local fire and rescue service.”

Today’s decision follows the submittal of a business case to the Home Office last October which was then independently assessed.

Minister for policing and the fire service, Nick Hurd, said: “It’s great to see police and crime commissioners identifying opportunities to drive greater collaboration between police and fire. There is a real opportunity to improve the services provided to local people.

“The proposals will encourage joint working, sharing of best practice and innovative thinking.

“Having a directly accountable leader overseeing both policing and fire will also help maximise available resources and drive transformation across both services. I look forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to the local areas.”

Mr Ablewhite said: “Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service do a vital job saving lives both through their prevention work, tackling fires and through their many other important roles.

“The changes announced today will focus on how the fire service is governed and I look forward to working with the Fire Authority to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.”

The exact date for transfer of responsibilities has yet to be agreed.

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