1. ITV Report

Consultation to start on changes to North Yorkshire Fire Service

North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan could apply to oversee the North Yorkshire Fire Service too Credit: PA

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, has launched a consultation proposing changes to the way the county's fire service is overseen.

People are being encouraged to visit to have their say on the options.

It will mean that working together between North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will increase.

Why is this happening

The move comes after a new legal duty for emergency services to collaborate was passed by Parliament, which enables Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to apply to oversee the fire and rescue service as well as the police.

Some believe this will improve the efficiency of both organisations and save money.

"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.

"Here 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.

"One way to do this would be by re-investing money into our frontline services that we will save by sharing governance and working better together.

Saving money elsewhere is how I have been able to increase frontline 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."

– Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner

North Yorkshire Police recently relocated its headquarters to Northallerton's Alverton Court, a move that is believed to be saving approximately £10 million compared to other proposals.