Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority is thanking individuals and organisations that participated in its recent consultation.

The Community Safety Options consultation ran over 12 weeks and closed on May 22. All of the contributions have now been collected, totalling over 1500 responses. These range from questionnaire responses, attendees to consultation events and hall tests. A total of ten different options were consulted on. The responses will now be collated and submitted for consideration by the Fire and Rescue Authority at its meeting on July 13.

Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor Len Bloomer said:

“This consultation was needed to help us address future risks, meet demands and achieve financial savings targets and so the input of as many individuals and organisations as possible was crucial. The responses we have received will be vital in helping us determine the most appropriate way forward to meet the challenges we face without compromising the safety of our firefighters or the communities we serve.

“We were however surprised and somewhat disappointed that the Police and Crime Commissioner chose to publicly speak out proposing a fully integrated police and fire service. Of course we welcome the consultation contributions from all partners, however for someone in Mr Ellis’s position to not have discussed something of this nature with us beforehand was far from appropriate.  We are certainly not against collaboration and we have in fact driven forward a number of joint projects with Staffordshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, including shared occupational health and supplies and logistics departments and a Centre of Excellence for Transport, which is in the pipeline. It is clear that we have enjoyed a good relationship with our blue light colleagues to date, so we are unsure as to what Mr Ellis was trying to achieve by publicly announcing something that he knew would cause controversy without seeking to have the conversation with us first.”

Results of the consultation will be published on Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s website, following the Fire and Rescue Authority meeting on July 13.