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Cambridgeshire Fire Authority wants a judicial review to challenge takeover

By Josh Thomas | Local Democracy Reporter

Jason Ablewhite Police and Crime Commissioner. Picture: Keith Heppell
Jason Ablewhite Police and Crime Commissioner. Picture: Keith Heppell

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite was given responsibility over the fire service in March.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority is pushing for a judicial review to challenge a Home Office decision to transfer governance of the fire service to the police and crime commissioner.

On March 26, the (then) Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, approved the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposal to take over responsibility for the governance of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service from the Fire Authority.

Now, however, that decision is being challenged, with the benefits of the move being called into question.

Chairman of the Fire Authority, Councillor Kevin Reynolds said: “We have given this careful consideration since the decision was first announced by the Home Office in March. We have requested additional information from the Home Office about the rationale behind the decision and we have sought legal advice.

“The fire authority and fire and rescue service work extremely well together under the current governance model and continually perform well. No reason has been demonstrated as to why a change in governance will bring any substantial benefits. Having taken legal advice, we have decided to challenge the decision by making a claim for a judicial review.”

Police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “The decision of Cambridgeshire Fire Authority to mount a legal challenge against a decision made by Her Majesty’s Government to transfer the governance of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service to myself is a matter between the councillors and the Home Office. As they have now entered the legal process it is not appropriate for me to comment.

“I intend to continue business as usual; working hard with colleagues from partner agencies to keep our communities safe.”


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