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Fire, police and county link up to save cash
9:00am Thursday 21st March 2013 in Andover
THE police, fire service and council will be working together this spring in a project designed to protect frontline services and save money.
The first phase of joint working arrangements between Hampshire’s county council, fire and rescue service and constabulary will begin next month.
This will allow them to develop new and innovative ways of working as well as responding to reduced levels of Government funding and extra operational pressures.
The county council, fire and rescue service and police will merge their finance, procurement and property services functions, as these areas have been identified as being able to be delivered more quickly.
Individual teams for each area will now begin to work jointly, ahead of future full integration across the range of combined services.
It is hoped that by joining up these functions, it could deliver combined savings of up to £4m each year, meaning that each organisation’s costs could be lowered and frontline services protected.
Councillor Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “Joint working is vital to creating a sustainable future for all three of our organisations and builds on our individual transformation programmes, which for the county council has already seen us balance our budget and deliver a significant savings programme.”
He said that £130m of recurring savings had been achieved over two-and-a-half years with the reshaping of services to make them more efficient when many public sector organisations were simply cutting services.
Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, said: “The work this spring to implement these first three support functions is positive progress towards fully integrated joint working.”
Royston Smith, chairman of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “This is the first example of joint working of this type between a police force, a fire and rescue service and a county council in England.
“By sharing our support functions we can improve overall services together, reduce our costs and significantly increase the resilience of our organisations in the long term.”