The government’s proposals for reform of Fire and Rescue Services in England

Murphy, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8459-4448 and Lakoma, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-2583-3813, 2021. The government’s proposals for reform of Fire and Rescue Services in England. In: The JUC PAC Annual Conference 2021: How Place Matters? Leadership, Governance and Public Administration, De Montfort University, Leicester, 7-8 September 2021.

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In July 2020, the government announced a two-part review of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs). The first part was to report to the Secretary of State on changes that could be made prior to the May 2021 local elections, with the second part to commence with the publication of a white paper after the local elections. The second part was to expand and strengthen the role of PCCs/PFCCs (and the mayoral variation) focussing on “longer-term reforms and the potential for wider efficiencies” with a view to implementation ahead of the 2024 elections.

Since the original announcement in October, the government has received Bob Kerslake’s Report into the Manchester Arena Attack (Kerslake 2019), Sir Thomas Winsor’s second State of Fire and Rescue Report (HMICFRS 2021a) and his report on the sectors response to the Covid-19 pandemic (HMICFRS 2021b) and has itself published its response to the Redmond Review (MHCLG 2020). Winsor called for ‘fundamental reform’ of the national terms and conditions negotiating machinery in the first State of Fire Report (HMICFRS 2020) has not been ameliorated by his experience with the pandemic in general, and the Tripartite Agreement in particular (HMICFRS 2021a). In his second annual report published in March (HMICFRS 2021b), Winsor reiterates the need to review the arrangements for determining pay and conditions but also finds the six national recommendations from his first State of Fire and Rescue Report (HMICFRS 2020) which involve ‘major structural aspects’ have been delayed by the pandemic and for some “work is still in its infancy, or hasn’t begun”
The Home Secretary announced that further reform will focus on three areas “people; professionalism; and governance” and that taken together improvements in these areas will help deliver higher standards and greater consistency across fire and rescue services (Home Office 2021).

This paper will critically reviews the background and antecedents to the forthcoming reform White Paper and its proposals for future reform of the Fire and Rescue Services in England using publicly available documents. It also draws on 38 semi-structured interviews with senior management of 6 Fire and Rescue Services to understand perceptions on the government’s proposals for reform.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Creators: Murphy, P. and Lakoma, K.
Date: September 2021
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 09 Sep 2021 13:23
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 13:23

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