Police and fire merger bid gets £620,000 grant

Chief fire officer Martyn Emberson, NCC cabinet member for public protection and fire Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds, Chief Constable Adrian Lee

Chief fire officer Martyn Emberson, NCC cabinet member for public protection and fire Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds, Chief Constable Adrian Lee

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The plan to merge Northamptonshire’s police and fire service has been awarded £620,000 to help make the project a reality.

Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds announced proposals last year, and now the Home Office has given the grant to help pay for the first 12 months of a four-year project which could see the organisations share properties, services, training and fleet maintenance.

The grant will, the Home Office has said, help with “ambitious proposals to create the first fully integrated emergency service in the country”.

Mr Simmonds said: “This funding, coupled with the £500,000 the fire and rescue service has already received from the Department of Communities and Local Government, means that we have just over £1m to drive the changes we need to make across the two services.

“It is a significant amount of money that will help us achieve a significant amount of change and deliver on our promise to integrate two public services, which we hope to achieve during 2014.”

Labour politicians in the county are opposed to the move. Corby West county councillor Julie Brookfield said: “The office of the police and crime commissioner continues to grow, while the number of constables and PCSOs has reduced.

“Before any plan is approved there needs to be a public consultation detailing how many jobs will be lost and any impact to either service.”