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In carrying out the Fire Governance Review options appraisal and developing an outline business case, Grant Thornton was engaged to provide an independent review of the following options supported under the Policing and Crime Act 2017:

  • Option 1 – Continue with the Fire and Rescue Authority as part of Norfolk County Council and continue with collaboration where appropriate.
  • Option 2 – Continue with the Fire and Rescue Authority as part of the County Council but give the PCC a position on the Fire and Rescue Authority, which is embodied by a council committee.
  • Option 3 – Move Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service under the governance of the PCC (the PCC becomes the Fire Authority).
  • Option 4 – Move Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service under the governance of the PCC and create a single organisation that includes both police and fire under the command and control of a new Emergency Services Chief Officer.

The options appraisal and outline business case produced by Grant Thornton and presented to PCC Lorne Green in January 2018 set out information gathered through stakeholder feedback and document review.

Based on that information, an initial assessment of each option had been carried out and a preferred option – option 3 –  identified.

Option 3 would see Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service move under the governance of the PCC, with the PCC taking on legal and overarching responsibility for the provision of that fire service. Under this option, the individual fire and police services would retain their operational independence, their budgets, their Chief Fire Officer or Chief Constable, and their own staff.

On the basis of the information in the options appraisal and outline business case, and taking into consideration feedback from stakeholders and interested parties, PCC Lorne Green took the decision in February 2018 to progress to Phase 2 of the project – development of a full business case exploring the potential benefits of a change of fire governance.