On 25 January 2016, the government announced it would bring foward legislation to enable Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to take over the fire and rescue service, as part of its 'closer working' agenda.
Firefighters provide a humanitarian service, they are not agents of the state nor are they law enforcers. Firefighters play a neutral role in our communities.
PCCs are unlikely to have any experience in management of the fire and rescue service. They were elected with the lowest turnout in British peacetime history, an average of 15.1%.
It represents a threat to the terms and conditions of firefighters. It could potentially take them out of agreed rates of pay and conditions of service and open the door to privatisation of the service.
The FBU completely oppose these plans. There are more democratic and devolved models of governance on the table.
You can download a briefing to lobby your MP with via: https://www.fbu.org.uk/publication/fire-and-rescue-service-matters-december-2015
Watch Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, discuss why PCC takeover of fire and rescues services is a bad idea.