The Government has moved fire and rescue Ministerial responsibilities from the Department for Communities and Local Government to the Home Office.
Mike Penning will work at the Home Office and will become the Minister for Policing, Fire, Criminal Justice and Victims. In a statement he said:
“As a former firefighter and now Minister for Policing, I know from first-hand experience how well the police and fire service can work together. We believe that better joint working can strengthen the emergency services and deliver significant savings and benefits for the public. This is about smarter working, reducing the cost of back office functions and freeing up the time of front-line staff.
We are demonstrating at national level what we are asking emergency services to do at local level. As the Minister responsible for both fire and policing, I will be looking to ensure that both services learn from best practice, wherever it is found.
I’d like to record my admiration for the work of fire and rescue services. That work is of course particularly visible at times such as these, when many services are playing such a crucial role in the response to flooding; but I know the commitment and dedication of all fire and rescue staff is there day in day out, making their communities safer places for everyone.
This move will have benefits for both services. Fire authorities can learn from the journey that police forces have undertaken on reform over the last five years. Equally, the success of fire and rescue services in prevention holds important lessons for the police”.