Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Representatives meet with Home Office Minister Nick Hurd MP
Today, Tyne and Wear Fire Authority (TWFRA) Chair, Cllr. Barry Curran and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther met with Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service at the Houses of Parliament.
The meeting had been agreed by the Minister following a Westminster Hall Debate on 28th November 2018. The debate had been proposed by North Tyneside MP, Mary Glindon and focussed upon the TWFRA’s current Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) Response Review consultation.
During the debate in November, the Minister confirmed that TWFRA has had a more challenging settlement than other fire authorities over this spending review period and committed to a meeting to discuss the impact changes to our funding has had on the Service.
TWFRA Chair, Barry Curran commented:
“We are grateful that the Minister was able to spend time with us today to discuss the financial challenges we face. We held a positive conversation and it is clear that the Minister has some sympathy with our position. We look forward to further discussions in the hope we can achieve a more viable approach to fire service funding in future.”
Currently, TWFRA is required to save £3.69million in order to balance its budget. The IRMP is undertaking three reviews to identify savings that can help TWFRA to deliver sustainable services. The Response Review consultation closes on January 28th, and the report will go to Fire Authority on February 18th.
TWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther concluded:
“Tyne and Wear is one of the most deprived regions in England, and deprivation has a clear link to fire risk. However, the current funding formula for fire services does not sufficiently take this into account. Today has provided a welcome opportunity to highlight this – and the need for a sustainable future settlement – to the Minister.”