NORTH Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan will take on the added role of overseeing the fire service.

The home secretary announced that Mrs Mulligan’s business case, submitted to the Home Office last September, had been accepted, and work will now start for her to take on governance of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service later this year.

Mrs Mulligan’s business case set out more than £6 million of savings, and included cuts to senior management roles, collaboration between North Yorkshire Police and the fire service in back office support services, and increased sharing of buildings.

Thanking the fire service for its work keeping people safe, she said: “There is a lot to do, but I am very much looking forward to working with them, and I thank them for their help, and for being so candid during last summer’s roadshows.

“I’m pleased that the home secretary has recognised the benefits that joint oversight of police and fire services will bring to the people of North Yorkshire. By bringing both organisations under the same governance, we can increase the speed and depth at which we collaborate, improve transparency and efficiency of both organisations, saving at least £6.6 million, to be reinvested into frontline policing and fire services.”

Legislation meant PCCs could take over local fire authorities where the public and local authorities agreed and supported the idea, but the move was met with some controversy in North Yorkshire, with the county council and the fire authority opposing the idea.

Mrs Mulligan said: “This process has not been without controversy, and I would like to thank and acknowledge all the councillors and MPs that have contributed to, and scrutinised, my business case and consultation to make sure that this was a robust process. I’d also like thank the public for their clear support - we received over 2,500 responses to our consultation, of which 71 per cent preferred PCC-led oversight.”