Police leader wants control of fire service

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Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has announced his intention to take control of the county’s fire authority.

Conservative David Lloyd was re-elected in May to head Herts Police. He appointed and is boss of the chief constable.

However the government has given him the green light to work on a business plan which will mean he also sets the budget and priorities for the fire service.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is currently run by the county council.

Mr Lloyd said: “I made clear in my manifesto that further collaboration between the emergency services could provide more opportunities to improve the service and make sure the resources we have available are used to optimum effect.”

“There will still be a chief officer in charge of operations which is absolutely the right thing to have – I’m not a fire or police officer – but the way the budget is set and the priorities for the service are best set by someone accountable to the people of Hertfordshire.”

Several options for the shake-up will be considered, from giving Mr Lloyd a seat on the current fire authority to taking over the authority altogether. It is not known if this would result in his current £75,000 salary.

A Herts County Council spokesman said: “We believe that our current set-up is efficient, effective and democratically accountable. We’ll have to wait and see the detail of the business case before deciding whether it would have the potential to provide a better service for our residents.”