THE decision to hand over the fire service to be run by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is a bad one for local democracy, accountability and, most importantly, for public safety.

After creating the political position of Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012, a post the public has widely rejected at each election, the Conservative Government is continuing with its objective to place as much power in the hands of as few politicians as possible.

Julia Mulligan’s business case for taking over the fire service is fundamentally flawed, projecting cuts that are unrealistic if public safety is to remain a key priority.

On the current Fire Authority, the public has seen Labour successfully fight cuts to both fire crew numbers and fire engine reductions, but these types of savings proposals will receive far less detailed scrutiny under the new governance plans.

Fire services in York could be the next for review if Ms Mulligan is to make good on her promise to cut the budget to the scale she has outlined.

This is a huge concern in terms of effective fire and rescue service coverage across the whole of our city, and Labour will strongly oppose any plans to reduce the current service.

Cllr Danny Myers,

Labour councillor for Clifton ward,

Member of North Yorks Fire Authority,

St Olave’s Road, York