Henry has given his initial support to Lorne Green, the Police and Crime Commissioner on his proposals regarding the governance of the Fire and Rescue Service.
Commenting on the matter Henry said: “I can certainly understand people’s concerns about this and I very much appreciate the feelings that many people have that such a move could lead to a greater likelihood of small fire stations closing. However, I have looked at this matter in great detail and I have given Lorne Green my initial support for the specific proposals he has put forward. I personally believe these proposals will ensure a continuation of current levels of service with smaller fire stations being retained. In addition to this it will produce significant savings that will then be available for front line services.”
Henry went on to say: “The fire service have already moved their call centre and other operations to Wyndham; there is absolutely not going to be any merger of the two forces and both the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer will have operationally autonomy; nevertheless there has always been very close collaboration between the two services, and this proposal will improve this still further; it will also ensure substantial improvements mainly because the PCC’s office is extremely efficient and streamlined; under the current governance arrangement the Fire and Rescue Service come under a County Council committee that deals with a number of responsibilities, and this therefore means that there is a lack of focus. What this is about is not a change in operational control but governance. It will also mean if the move does go ahead there will be an elected Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) who will be accountable to the Norfolk electorate, which will ensure there will be greater note taking of community campaigns.”