On Friday 14 December 2012, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government, Baroness Hanham, made the following written ministerial statement:
I am pleased to announce that Sir Ken Knight will be undertaking a review into the operational efficiency of the services delivered by fire and rescue authorities in England.
This review, conducted by Sir Ken Knight, former firefighter and outgoing Government chief fire and rescue adviser, will seek to identify ways fire and rescue authorities can pinpoint sensible savings and practical improvements without reducing the breadth and quality of life-saving services that the country’s firefighters are known for.
The review will examine options for savings both within and beyond the current spending review period, including through:
Flexible staffing and crewing arrangements;
The use of retained firefighters;
Collaboration with emergency services and other organisations on service delivery and estates;
Sharing of senior staff;
Locally-led mergers and operational collaborations;
New firefighting technology;
Working with local businesses.
Public safety is always our first concern and this review will make sure no stone has been left unturned in the quest for the most efficient and effective front-line fire service there can be.
The review will commence in January with Sir Ken Knight talking to key partners, and will report in the spring of 2013.