The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 (the Act) established a single fire and rescue service in Scotland. On 1 April 2013, the new service took on the functions of the previous eight fire and rescue authorities and joint fire and rescue boards.
Under the Act, the Parliament is required to keep the operation of the Act under review. The Justice Committee is undertaking this review with regard to the fire and rescue service. The Justice Sub-Committee on Policing is responsible for reviewing the provisions of the Act that relate to policing.
The Justice Committee took oral evidence from a number of stakeholders on 18 June 2013. After this meeting, the Committee decided to defer any further consideration to early 2014.
The Committee issued a call for written views on reform of the fire and rescue service on 31 January 2014. The deadline for submissions was 4 March 2014. The Committee took further oral evidence on 11 March 2014.
On 19 August 2014, the Justice Committee took evidence from HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland and HM Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on their inspection and thematic work in relation to the first year of the operation of the single services.
Separately, petitions PE 1510 (by Jody Curtis on behalf of Emergency Service and Non Emergency Service Call Centres calling on the Scottish Parliament to undertake a committee inquiry into the closure of Police, Fire, and Non-Emergency Service Centres north of Dundee) and PE 1511 (by Laura Ross calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the decision made by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to close the Inverness Control Room), have been referred to the Committee for consideration.
The Committee agreed to consider the terms of the petitions during its one-off evidence session with the inspectors. To inform that session, the Committee agreed to invite written submissions on the issues raised by the petitions.
Read the written submissions received prior to the one-off evidence session with the inspectors.
The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs wrote to the Committee on 4 February regarding the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's performance management arrangements.
The Committee received correspondence from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in relation to its VAT status.
The Committee received correspondence from Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs regarding the location of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services principal office.