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Norfolk police commissioner 'could revive bid for fire service control'

By David Hannant, Local Democracy Reporter

Controversial proposals to place control of the fire service in the hands of the police and crime commissioner could be revived, it has been revealed.

Last November, Norfolk PCC Lorne Green opted not to put a case forward to the government arguing his office should run the fire service, rather than Norfolk County Council.

Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green (2625842)
Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green (2625842)

His office spent £100,000 on exploring the possibility, but after criticism from the county council and the Fire Brigades Union – among others – Mr Green opted not to pursue it any further.

However, during a meeting of the county’s police and crime panel held at County Hall in Norwich on Tuesday, Mr Green said he may revisit the plans – if he grows unsatisfied with existing collaborations.

In January, Mr Green requested a seat on the committee tasked with scrutinising the service, a request that was granted by the council’s communities committee.

And when asked about this by the panel, Mr Green hinted that he was keen to be an active member of the committee and that he would visit every fire station in the county – but also hinted he could revisit the original proposal.

He said: “In terms of what I considered, the light has gone from green to amber – but is starting to flicker back towards green.”

Elaborating on this comment after the meeting, Mr Green said the proposals had not completely been taken off the table.

He said: “In my job I have two main priorities – making sure the county is as safe as it possibly can be and that the service people receive is as efficient as it can be.

“I am eagerly waiting to see if the existing collaboration between the fire service and the constabulary is delivering on these priorities.

“If I feel it is not delivering on this the proposal will come from the back burner and back to the front again.”

Mr Green, who was elected in 2016, is heading into his final year in the role of PCC, having previously announced his intention not to seek re-election at the next scheduled election next year.

However, he did joke that he could still reconsider this move.

He said: “I am so enthused by this job and maybe I should rethink not seeking re-election – I will have a consultation with my grandchildren on that.”


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