I am writing to let you know that the Fire Authority has signed off the draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) for the financial year 2017/18, and the consultation process, which will run until 3 January 2017, is now underway.
As part of the consultation, we are keen to obtain the feedback of our key partners and stakeholders, particularly local representatives from town and parish councils. As you will be aware, the draft annual plan sets out how Cheshire Fire Authority, the publically accountable body which oversees the fire and rescue service, proposes to deliver the most efficient and effective service, while continuing to face reductions in the level of funding it receives.
Following a major consultation exercise in 2012, during the last few years the Authority has implemented a major review of its emergency response services, which has included the construction of four new fire stations to spread fire cover across Cheshire, while changing the way many other stations were staffed.
One of the four new stations, Alsager, is now fully operational, while the stations at Lymm, Penketh and Powey Lane (near Chester) will be opened early in the New Year.
This latest draft plan sets out a series new proposals, emerging from a second review of the Authority’s emergency response capabilities, undertaken over the last year. If agreed, these proposals, which include further changes to vehicles, stations and duty systems, will be implemented over the next four years, up to 2020.
The draft plan provides further detail on the major Bluelight Collaboration between Cheshire Fire Authority and Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, which will create a number of shared support functions and reduce costs by moving them to a joint headquarters site at Clemonds Hey – the current Cheshire Constabulary headquarters.
The plan also sets out how the Authority will respond to and address the themes set out in the Government’s Fire Reform Programme, announced by the Prime Minister, when she was Home Secretary, back in May 2016. The programme aims to increase national coordination and resilience, reduce duplication, improve workforce diversity, and increase overall transparency and assurance.
Attached to this email is a full copy of the draft plan and a shorter summary document. I would very much welcome your thoughts and comments on the proposals contained in the draft Plan and encourage you to email any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. If any council would like a specific briefing, please feel free to get in touch to arrange one.
Once the consultation has closed, Members of the Authority will consider any feedback and make any changes before approving a final version of the Plan and Budget in February 2017. The Plan will run from 1 April 2017.
I look forward to hearing from you and receiving your comments.
Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive
Cheshire Fire Authority