Welwyn Hatfield MP backs fire service plans despite councils’ objections

PUBLISHED: 12:28 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:43 11 August 2017

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield’s MP has backed plans for Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd to take over governance of the county’s fire service.

In a letter signed by Hertfordshire’s 11 Conservative MPs, including Welwyn Hatfield representative Grant Shapps, he came out in support of the plans – contradicting the stance of the county, borough and town councils.

The county council is currently responsibility for the fire service’s budgets and priorities.

Hertfordshire’s MPs said it was “vital” that fire and police services work closer together, claiming it would enable money to be saved from administrative processes and reinvested in front-line services.

“The business case, which is currently out for consultation, offers significant benefits, not least the prospect of a new focus on our fire service and the modernisation of its estate,” they added.

Earlier this week borough councillors from all political parties united against the plans, claiming there appeared to be no financial saving or provision for scrutiny.

They also voiced fears over the consultation’s “short time-frame” in the summer holidays, insufficient detail, and the potential for the ambulance service to follow suit.

All 78 county councillors also opposed the plans, as well as Hatfield Town Council.

Residents can give their feedback at http://www.hertscommissioner.org/fire. The consultation will end on August 14.

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