District Council has say on future plans for fire service

Published Wednesday 6 November 2019

Harborough District Council has responded to Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s public consultation on the future of the service.

Cllr Phil King, Leader of Harborough District Council, responded this week on behalf of the Council, on the Fire and Rescue Service’s Integrated Risk Management Plan for 2020-2024.

The Integrated Risk Management Plan is an assessment of all foreseeable fire and rescue related risks to communities and sets out how the fire and rescue service will make best use of their resources to respond to local needs and improve public safety.

Cllr King’s response can be seen below:

A key priority for Harborough District Council is that the District is a safe, enterprising and vibrant place’ and partnership work with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue is key to achieving the best outcomes for residents and businesses in the district. I therefore welcome the opportunity to respond to the consultation on the Fire Services Integrated Risk Management Plan proposals.

  • Proposal 1 - Use our fire engines flexibly, aiming to attend life threatening incidents in an average of 10 minutes.

We support this approach in principle but are unable to comment further as there are no firm details of what this means in practice. I note that Lutterworth in particular has seen a 28% increase in incidents. This risk will only increase due to the major road network (M6, M1, A5) and the expansion of Magna Park and additional housing proposed in the area so the Fire Service need to take a long-term approach. Overall I note that Harborough district has the highest number of life risk incidents not responded to within 10 mins in Leicestershire. We would like to see this reduce in line with other areas and not be diluted by focussing on attendance in an ‘average’ of 10 mins.

  • Proposal 2 - Use our firefighters efficiently and flexibly to maximise our appliance availability

We support widening the pool of On-Call staff across Leicestershire notwithstanding the above comment on improving response times across the Harborough District.

  • Proposal 3 - Purchase a second high reach appliance to replace the older one of the two vehicles

We recognise the need for high reach appliances. Even in Harborough the recent review of Edwin Court in Market Harborough has highlighted the risks and mitigations required to post Grenfell and the potential need for such capabilities. 

  • Proposal 4 - We want to continue to undertake our education and enforcement activities, targeting those most at risk 

We support the sharing of information between public services to enhance support for vulnerable residents. We see the Community Safety Partnership and other multi-agency partnerships as key ways to enable this flow of information and support.

  • Proposal 5 - Continue to collaborate with other blue light services and our partner agencies to support our purpose of safer people, safer places

We support collaboration and closer integration of services where this improves outcomes for our citizens.

  • Proposal 6 - We want to enable our staff to do the right thing to help our communities

We support the empowering of staff to do the right thing for citizens and the Council will also continue to champion this approach across our services and partnerships.

  • Proposal 7 - We want to implement alternative crewing arrangements in the event of the Service moving away from the current Day Crewing Plus duty system

We understand the need for change and welcome the Fire Service to come to the Council in the future to discuss changes arising from the proposals set out in the consultation. 

To have your say on the consultation, running until 25 November 2019, visit the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service website.