'Hertfordshire PCC wasted £100k on vanity project', fire union chief claims
PUBLISHED: 16:20 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:20 06 September 2018
A Fire Brigades Union chief has claimed the Herts Police and Crime Commissioner wasted £100k on his "failed power grab" for the fire service.
PCC David Lloyd today announced he was suspending his business case to take the reins of Herts Fire and Rescue Service after an agreement was struck with the county council.
However, Brian Hooper, executive council member for the FBU in Eastern England, said: “Mr Lloyd’s business case was flawed from the start and we very much welcome its withdrawal.
“The costs associated with the ‘plan’ presented to the Home Office, written by [auditor] KPMG and paid for by Hertfordshire residents, must be astronomical.
“If I was a council tax payer in Hertfordshire I would be outraged at the waste of money that has been spent on this failed power grab.”
He added that the “vanity project” cost more than £100k, and has delayed production of the fire service’s Integrated Risk Management Plan, which sets out safety measures for the coming years.
“Hertfordshire FBU now calls on the county council and central government to make a significant investment in the fire and rescue service,” Mr Hooper added.
After suspending the plans, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, which involved setting up a new Hertfordshire Emergency Services Collaboration Board designed to oversee closer collaboration between the police and fire service.
A spokesman for the PCC said: “Money has not been wasted, it’s still going to go on and help inform what this board does.
“Whoever is in charge of the governance will want to look at the benefits of collaboration and the business case did a lot the background work – so I wouldn’t say that was wasted.”
He added it has also paved the way for positive agreements between the county council and PCC, and if Mr Lloyd hadn’t spent money investigating those options it would have been the local authority.