A consultation on a new Fire and Rescue National Framework was launched today (13 December 2011) by the Fire and Rescue Minister Bob Neill. The consultation seeks views on freeing fire and rescue authorities to tailor their services to meet local needs whilst meeting the wider needs of national resilience.
This more localist approach builds on the approach of the Coalition Government in ending the regionalisation of the fire service and dismantling regional government in England. We have already announced that fire and rescue authorities no longer have to work through Regional Management Boards, and we have stopped the forced regionalisation of fire control rooms through the termination of FireControl.
Launching the National Framework consultation Bob Neill said:
The draft National Framework marks a key milestone to reset the relationship between fire and rescue authorities and central Government.
We know that fire and rescue authorities, not Whitehall, are best placed to decide what their communities need. Government must get out of their way and allow them to get on with their vital job of keeping our communities safe.
The Government is committed to all public services meeting the needs of their communities and the priorities in the draft National Framework are for fire and rescue authorities to:
Identify and assess the full range of fire and rescue related risks their area faces, make provision for prevention and protection activities and to respond to incidents appropriately
Work in partnership with their communities and a wide range of partners locally and nationally to deliver their service and
Be accountable to communities for the service they provide.
1. The Fire and Rescue National Framework consultation document can be found at: http://www.communities.gsi.gov.uk/publications/fire/fireframeworkconsultation2012.
2. The draft National Framework sets out the priorities and objectives for fire and rescue authorities in England in connection with the discharge of their functions. It clarifies the role of fire and rescue authorities and the Government in delivering national resilience and of the importance of accountability and scrutiny for this important public safety service.
3. The consultation will close on 19 March 2012. Responses can be sent to: FireNationalFramework@communities.gsi.gov.uk (with any attachments in Microsoft Word).
4. Alongside this public consultation, the Department will be working with key partner organisations, including the Local Government Association and the Chief Fire Officers’ Association, to determine the appropriate strategic governance arrangements for national resilience, as introduced in the draft Framework.
5. The existing National Framework remains in force until the new one is brought into effect.
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