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Police and crime commissioner poised to take on fire service authority role

PUBLISHED: 17:37 09 January 2019

Lorne Green, centre, could be offered a seat on the fire and rescue authority. Picture: Ian Burt

Lorne Green, centre, could be offered a seat on the fire and rescue authority. Picture: Ian Burt

The police and crime commissioner looks poised to take a seat on the board tasked with scrutinising the county’s fire service - after opting against taking on responsibility for it.

Last year, Lorne Green’s office spent close to £100,000 on exploring whether he should take over the service, which left him at loggerheads with the Tory-run Norfolk County Council.

In November though, he decided against putting forward a case to the government, following weeks of consultation and debate.

He did, however, request a position on the fire and rescue authority, the board responsible for overseeing and scrutinising the service.

Next week, councillors will decide whether to welcome Mr Green onto the authority, with officers recommending members of the communities committee at County Hall grant his request.

Should they do so, it would then by up to full council to have the final say over the bid in April.

If the council supports the PCC in this, he would then take up a role on the authority from May, the same month a management structure comes into place at County Hall.

Mr Green said: “I am looking forward to contributing to a positive meeting of the communities committee next week and continuing to work to get the best for the people of Norfolk.

“The process I led last year is proving a powerful catalyst for change.

“The Norfolk public made it clear that at the end of the day they want good public services and excellent value for money - that is what I will continue to strive to deliver.”

In his report to the communities committee, which meets on Wednesday, January 16, County Hall executive director Tom McCabe said granting Mr Green’s request would be a positive step for the relationship between the council and the OPCC.

He said approving the request would “enhance opportunities to identify and promote joint working for the benefit of Norfolk communities” and “cement the relationship between the OPCC and the county council”.

He added that in the meantime, Mr Green had been invited by Margaret Dewsbury, the committee’s chairman, to attend and speak at future meetings of the communities committee.

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