PCC officially takes on responsibility for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s governance
Peter McCall officially became Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) on Saturday 1 April 2023, taking on the governance responsibility for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).
The transfer follows the Government announcement that Cumbria would be divided in to two unitary authorities from April 2023, which has now replaced the six district councils and the overarching County Council. This meant that the governance responsibility of CFRS had to change, as it sat with Cumbria County Council which ceased to exist on 1 April 2023. Cumbria has now split into two unitary authorities: Westmorland and Furness Council and Cumberland Council.
Cumbria is the fifth county to introduce a PFCC, following Essex, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire and North Yorkshire. The PFCC will be responsible for CFRS’s governance. This includes responsibility for the service’s legal elements, the employees, budget, estates, and ethics and integrity.
Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “I have been the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria since 2016, holding the Chief Constable to account for delivering effective policing for the County.
“My role within CFRS will mirror this – essentially my main role is to get the best possible resource to deliver the service and I am delighted to have been able to secure only this week an additional £2M from Government for much needed Capital funding to help us improve the service.
“In the short term, I want this to be a seamless transfer which should not affect service delivery and it should not be to the detriment of staff or residents.
“It is important to note that responsibility for operational decisions will remain firmly with the Chief Fire Officer and his staff.
“CFRS is an essential service with dedicated staff and whilst we have some challenges ahead, I look forward to working with the Chief Fire Officer and them to provide the best possible service to our communities.”
Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer, John Beard said: “I’d like to reassure the communities of Cumbria that what CFRS do as a Service has not changed at all. This change is to the governance of the Service only and we will continue to serve and protect our communities in the same way as we do now.
“We look forward to working together with the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to be a community-focussed, professional and trusted fire and rescue service that makes Cumbria a safer place for all.”