The Petition of residents of Cumbria,
Declares that the Petitioners oppose the decision by Cumbria County Council to outsource services currently provided by Cumbria Emergency Fire Control to Cheshire in 2012 and eventually a regional facility in 2014.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage Cumbria County Council to re-consider their decision to outsource Cumbria Emergency Fire Control services and ensure that before any further decisions are made, all plans, including a full breakdown of the financial business case are made available through a public consultation.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Tim Farron, Official Report, 17 April 2012; Vol. 543, c. 291.]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, received 8 May 2012.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is aware that a consortium of Fire and Rescue Authorities in the North West (Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire) are seeking to use the control centre building in Warrington, procured as part of the terminated FiReControl Project, as a shared control service for the four authorities.
Decisions to share control services and use the Warrington building are entirely a matter for the four authorities.
Following closure of the previous Government’s failed FiReControl programme, which wasted half a billion pounds of taxpayers’ money, the Coalition Government consulted on the best way to improve the resilience and efficiency of fire and rescue control services in England. This established that there was broad support for a localist approach with locally determined and delivered projects.
The Secretary of State is clear that it is for Fire and Rescue Authorities to deliver local control services in the way that best meets the needs of their communities and provides value for the taxpayer. Decisions should be made by local elected representatives, accountable to the local electorate.
Fire and rescue authorities should be open and transparent in their dealings, including following the “Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency”.