There are ‘no current plans’ for the Thames Valley’s police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld to take over the running of Berkshire’s fire service.
Mr Stansfeld issued a statement last week saying that following discussions over the last few months, it has been decided that governance of the fire services in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire will remain as it is.
It comes the Government awarded additional powers to PCCs that would allow them to take on responsibility for their area’s fire service – a move that went ahead in Essex last month.
Mr Stansfeld said: “Within the Thames Valley we are in the complex and unique position of having three fire and rescue services.
“Over the last months I have had regular discussions with fire and rescue authority representatives and local authority stakeholders to consider potential collaboration and governance change options.
“Following a meeting between myself, the deputy PCC and representatives from the fire and rescue authorities we have agreed that we will not be actively pursuing any governance changes in the foreseeable future.
“We will, of course, continue to work closely together and seek to explore and develop more collaboration options between the police and fire services to deliver operational and financial benefits to the public.”
Plans to give PCCs control of the fire service were described as ‘dangerous’ by the Fire Brigades Union when the move was first announced in 2015.
The Government argued that greater collaboration between fire services and the police would reduce costs.
In Berkshire collaboration is already under way, reflected in the opening of a joint hub for the emergency services being opened in Hungerford in June.
Colin Dudley, chairman of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “We are proud of the excellent work we’ve done so far to collaborate with the other Thames Valley fire and rescue services, police, ambulance and other colleagues.
“We will continue striving to identify and develop other opportunities that allow us to collaborate and better support the people of Royal Berkshire to lead safe and fulfilling lives.”