PLANS for the Police and Crime Commissioner to take control of the way the fire service is run are open to consultation from today.

Julia Mulligan said the government and local stakeholders believe the police and fire services could collaborate more closely, and change should be introduced.

Parliament has agreed that PCCs can take on the role of local Fire and Rescue Authorities where plans are supported, and say closer working behind the scenes will save money which can be invested in the frontline.

Mrs Mulligan said residents must understand the move would not see police and fire budgets shared or a combined frontline emergency service, but acknowledged the proposal was a money-saving exercise.

She said: “Let’s be clear, this is not a merger. The two services will remain separate—police officers and fire officers will still have their own distinct roles, and budgets will always be kept separate. But by bringing both organisations under the same governance, we can improve things for everyone.

“In North Yorkshire we have some good examples of working together where the police and fire services join up to prevent harm, helping to protect vulnerable people, and improve community safety. But just a few examples are not enough. There is much more that we could, and should, be doing.”

The new police headquarters in Northallerton and sale of Newby Wiske is expected to save £10 million, Mrs Mulligan said, and she encouraged the public to embrace the proposed changes.

Mrs Mulligan said that by sharing resources, money could be reinvested into frontline services, and fire and police stations could be shared in more areas.

She said: “Saving money elsewhere is how I have been able to increase frontline [POLICE] numbers over the last few years, and this will be no different. For a start, I would explore the opportunities of a truly joint plan for sharing police and fire stations at more than 20 sites across the county where they are already close together, including our headquarters.

“Bringing our fire and police headquarters together into one place could further save up to £250,000 of tax-payers’ money per year. It’s firefighters and police officers that save lives, not buildings. But sharing buildings isn’t just about saving money. By bringing the two chief officer teams together, it would make it easier to develop a shared vision for a joint community safety plan for North Yorkshire, and oversight would be easier too, speeding up the scale and pace of change.”

Consultation is open for the next 10 weeks. To have your say or find out more, go to