I am writing to you in my capacity as the MP for Bournemouth East to welcome your proposals for collaboration with the Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Service. Given the current economic climate and the possibility of making collective annual savings of £4 million, I strongly agree with the suggestion of service integration.
I understand from your letter that both authorities are currently undertaking consultations on three different merger scenarios and of those options I would personally endorse a full combination to create a single Combined Fire Authority.
However, I also do not believe the proposals go far enough. A merger would be extremely helpful and I am supportive of this initiative, but I would also like to see greater collaboration between all South-West blue light services to ensure increased efficiency and enable important information sharing during emergencies.
Whilst I understand that this comment is beyond the scope of this particular consultation, I would like to formally put on record my hopes that this Dorset Fire and Rescue Service consultation leaves the door open for further and deeper integration not just into other Fire Services in the South West, but also into other emergency ‘blue light’ services. To that end please find below a link to a copy of my 2013 report, ‘Improving Efficiency, Interoperability, and Resilience of our Blue Light Services’, which further explains my opinions on merging emergency services in the future;
Tobias Ellwood MP