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Furious councillor resigns from panel over Fire Service take-over

North Yorkshire fire and rescue fire engine

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 6:11pm 19th July 2018.

Anger over a move to let the Police and Crime Commissioner control North Yorkshire's fire service has seen a former police officer resign from a key role.

  • It's controversial because the Fire Service is currently run by a committee of councillors, who know their local communities well
  • 6 out 7 seven North Yorkshire districts have voted against the move
  • There are calls for action to stop it happening

Councillor Peter Dew has resigned from his position on the Police and Crime Panel, which voted against a decision to allow Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, to oversee the fire service.

Currently, it is managed by councillors, who they say, know their communities well.

Cllr Dew has accused Mrs. Mulligan of treating councillors with “little disguised contempt”. 

He said:

“It was my understanding that the purpose of the panel was to support the commissioner and also to hold her to account. But it has been made fairly obvious she only expects the panel to fulfil the former role.

“In view of the commissioner’s refusal to listen to the advice of the panel, City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council as far as control of North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service is concerned, I see no alternative but to leave this panel.”

Cllr Dew, who joined North Yorkshire Police in 1971, says he had joined the watchdog to offer his policing experience.

Six of the county’s seven district councils, the county council and the Police and Crime Panel fought for councillors to continue running the fire service before the Home Secretary ruled Police Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, should take control of it.

Mrs Mulligan had argued the move would enable the two services to work closely together, improve their efficiency and save at least £6.6m over ten years, which would be used for frontline police and fire services.

Mrs Mulligan said she would be more than happy to discuss “any specifics about ignoring feelings” with Cllr Dew following the meeting.

She said:

“I am keen this works and would certainly appreciate that feedback.”

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