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04-09-19

NFCC response to Spending Round

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) responds to today’s Spending Round as the Chancellor of the Exchequer committed to spending more on vital public services.

NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher said:

“I have recently written to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to highlight the long term under investment in fire services which has impacted on prevention, protection, recruitment and response times. I have also been lobbying both Home Office and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for further investment in Fire and Rescue, particularly Fire Protection.

NFCC is pleased to see that there are no further reductions to fire budgets in this spending review. I am hopeful of positive outcomes in two further areas of concern for the National Fire Chiefs Council they are - the employers’ pension contribution for fire sector workers and much needed investment for protection work.  

 “Fire services have done a fantastic job in terms of reform and meeting new challenges and risks. We are proud that we have a resilient and highly professional fire service which responds efficiently and quickly, but it must be resourced to risk as well as demand. But there is still much work to be done and we must invest in our protection services.

Services must be given the support to transform how they deliver services, especially as different challenges and risks arise. There has also been a reduction in wholetime firefighters by 23 per cent since 2010. After years of cuts to fire service budgets nationally, we now need to focus on resilience and resources to support improvement in our fire and rescue services and ensure public confidence.”

NFCC has previously outlined key areas it wants government to have a continued and dedicated focus on; including the Hackitt Review, Grenfell Tower Inquiry and any forthcoming spending review for fire. NFCC believes these need progressing at pace.

Roy Wilsher added:

“Recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety brings a new set of challenges for fire services. Significant investment is required to meet both existing demands, along with the challenges of any future fire safety regime that the public has confidence in. NFCC has worked with partners including the Home Office, LGA, national employers and HMICFRS to identify where Fire and Rescue Services can improve, but this also requires investment for proper support and co-ordination"

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