Emergency services have joined forces in a pledge to work even closer together for the benefit of the public.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFS), Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) and Northumbria Police along with their three governance bodies, have all signed a statement of intent.
“Closer collaboration will enable us to build on our respective strengths to protect local people and communities.”Tom Wright
They have agreed to enhance collaboration to explore opportunities to work more closely together.
The aim is to identify priority areas where closer working can lead to enhanced public service, efficiency savings and delivering greater value for money.
The collaboration will be led by a Joint Strategy Board (JSB) chaired by Coun Tom Wright, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority Chair and including Coun Dave Ledger, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Authority Chair, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, TWFRS Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling, NFRS Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett and Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman.
The board will be responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of the collaboration.
Tom Wright, Tyne and Wear Fire Authority Chair, said: “I am pleased to enter into this agreement with our neighbouring fire and rescue service and local police. All three organisations provide first rate local services, and closer collaboration will enable us to build on our respective strengths to protect local people and communities.”
The move builds on a history of partnership working throughout Northumberland and Tyne & Wear, with a range of shared facilities and services already in place.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “The police and fire and rescue services have worked together on a number of initiatives throughout Northumbria over the years and this collaboration is taking our partnership to the next level. It proves that we are determined to make further savings to reinvest in our respective services whilst offering the best service possible to local residents. This means we are ahead of the game in complying with the new duty to collaborate whilst the legislation is still going forward.”
Coun Ledger, Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We already have a long and proud history of services working together in our region and this agreement will ensure we work even more closely in the future.
“We already have examples where the police and fire service share buildings and facilities and we will continue to innovate as we move forward to provide a first class efficient service to our communities.”