DCC Scrutiny Committee writes to Fire Service to express ‘disappointment’ after they declined to appear before it. My motion urging the Fire Authority to pause on the proposals goes before full Council on Thursday.

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Fire Service consultationAt its meeting last Thursday, the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee, which had invited the Fire Service to present its ‘Safer Together’ proposals to the meeting, decided to express its ‘disappointment’ that the Service had declined to attend. As I pointed out in my paper to the Committee (agenda item 12, pp 43-46), the Service seemed to be avoiding detailed scrutiny of its proposals by elected councillors. I had put the item back on the agenda after the Chair had taken it off in the light of the Service’s decision.

The issue now goes to Council this Thursday, where I have proposed this motion:

‘This County Council expresses its concern at the failure of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to formally consult the Council, especially in the light of our role as partner under civil contingency legislation. This Council believes that the Service has not presented sufficiently detailed and costed proposals for additional prevention and protection work to outweigh the undoubted extra risk to many Devon residents from the closure of fire stations and removals of engines involved in the consultation proposals. In this light Council urges the members of the Fire Authority not to proceed with any of the options but to ask for further work by the Service on the future pattern of provision.”

The consultation closed on 22nd September and a report on its outcomes will go the Fire Authority on 8th November.

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