Page 19 - Hot_News_May_2015
P. 19

THE FINAL WORD
I am writing this edition of the Final Word immediately following the General Election which has resulted in a majority Conservative Government. During the Principal Officer briefings we speculated as to what the outcome of the election might be and what it might mean for the Service. We now have a much clearer idea of what the future may hold.
The Conservative Party Manifesto contains the following commitment:
“We will enable fire and police services to work more closely together and develop the role of our elected and accountable Police and Crime Commissioners.”
The DCFO and I explained during the briefings that we were already working closely together with our Police and indeed Ambulance Service colleagues. There are numerous examples of good practice in this regard, not least with the Joint Control Centre and the co-location of NWAS on a number of our stations. There now seems a strong possibility of the Ambulance Service also joining us at the JCC.
I have already met with the Chief Constable to discuss how we can build on what is an already strong relationship and I will ensure that you are all kept up to date with progress on our joint working with the Police and NWAS.
What is clear however, is that we are likely to face some very significant further financial challenges over the next few years and whilst we have undertaken a significant amount of planning, we should be under no illusions as to the scale of the difficulties we will face in the future.
We have already commenced a management review which will be reported to the Authority at the end of May. As part of this review, our Deputy Chief Executive Kieran Timmins has taken the decision to request voluntary severance and look for a new challenge elsewhere.
I would like to take this opportunity to record my personal thanks to Kieran for the immense contribution he has made in the 16 years he has been with the Service. He will be very difficult to replace and will be greatly missed by me and all of his colleagues.
The 12-week consultation over proposed changes to the Service’s emergency response cover in West Wirral which opened on 2nd March runs up until and including 24th May.
The public consultation considers two options:
A) 1. The closure of West Kirby and Upton fire stations (each of which houses one wholetime appliance) and the building of a new station at Saughall Massie Road to cover both station areas.
2. The re-designation of one of the two existing wholetime appliances as "wholetime retained" (with a 30-minute recall), whilst;
3. Inviting suggestions for other suitable alternative options to deliver the savings required as a result of further cuts to the Authority budget.
OR:
B) 1. The outright closure of West Kirby and the relocation of the West Kirby wholetime appliance to Upton as the alternative to merger.
2. The re-designation of one of the two existing wholetime appliances as “wholetime retained” (with a 30-minute recall), whilst;
3. Inviting suggestions for other suitable alternative options to deliver the savings required as a result of further cuts to the Authority budget.
A consultation document has been distributed in public buildings, local stores and businesses across West Wirral. It is available on our website www.merseyfire.gov.uk on the page: http://www.merseyfire.gov.uk/aspx/pages/opsRespons e/pdf/WIRRAL_CONSULTATION_DOCUMENT_2015.pdf
An online questionnaire, as part of the consultation, is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/saughall_massie . You can also email Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service at consultation2@merseyfire.gov.uk or write to Wirral Consultation, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Bridle Road, Bootle, L30 4YD.
Three public meetings have been held as part of this consultation, the third of which was held on 5th May. The outcomes of the consultation will be reported back to the Authority for a definitive decision in June.
I encourage staff to read the consultation document and to respond to the online questionnaire as it is important for you to make your views known as part of the process.
Dan Stephens
Chief Fire Officer
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