It has been almost one year since the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 merged Scotland’s eight Fire and Rescue Services into one service. The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee wants to know about any impact this has had on local communities with a call for evidence published today.
Since the move to a single service, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has published 32 local plans outlining its aims of improving safety for communities and staff; ensuring equitable access to fire and rescue services; improving outcomes through partnerships and creating a culture of continuous development.
The Justice Committee want to hear views on whether local communities feel as if they have been adequately consulted on these proposed plans and how they think any changes regarding control room closures for example, will impact on their local authority, town or village?
Justice Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP said:
“The police service has largely been the focus of attention as part of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 and we now want to know how the fire service has been affected by the changes brought in last April.
“As part of its strategic plan, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service plan to have only one national training centre and reducing the number of control rooms to three. While these changes are in response to financial challenges, it may have an impact on local communities across Scotland. Let us know what you think.”
The call for evidence on fire service reform can be accessed via the link below and all submissions should be in by 4 March 2014:
Call for evidence
Under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, on 1 April 2013 the eight Fire and Rescue Services in Scotland were merged to create the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).
The Scottish Government identified three benefits to fire reform. Firstly, to safeguard and improve local services while reducing costs. Secondly, to create more equal access to specialist fire and rescue services across the country and finally, to strengthen the connection between the fire and rescue service and local communities.