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Strengthening our Fire and Rescue Service: A briefing on the options

Strengthening our Fire and Rescue Service: A briefing on the options

I would like to invite you as a representative from your Area Board to attend one of the following meetings. The aim is to inform you about the work so far undertaken to strengthen the future outlook for the fire and rescue service given its significant financial difficulties. We would really welcome your attendance and feedback in helping to shape our thinking and future direction.

Date Start Time Location

23rd June 1:30pm Assembly Room, St John Street, Devizes
23rd June 6:30pm Neeld Hall, High Street, Chippenham
24th June 1:30pm Michael Herbert Hall, North Street, Wilton
24th June 6.30pm Civic Centre, St Stephens Place, Trowbridge

We are informing people across Wiltshire and Swindon of this consultation through short inputs that are being given at each of the Community Area Boards in Wiltshire and the Localities in Swindon. This is to sign post them to the information on our website and the on line consultation form. It is recognised that these meetings often have full agendas. Therefore, these additional meetings have been organised where there will be the time for a fuller explanation to be provided and there will be the opportunity to ask questions.
Working with Dorset Fire Authority, a great deal of work has been undertaken exploring a wide range of future options and possibilities. The preferred option that we will be seeking public consultation over is for Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority to formally combine with Dorset Fire Authority and for the new organisation to work more closely with local authorities, the police and other public services. We believe that this represents the most effective way of protecting front-line services and avoiding deep and damaging cuts to fire stations. By maximising the savings from a fire to fire combination, we can save in the region of £4m per year and at the same time strengthen service delivery. By then working more closely with local authorities, the police and other public services we can improve the efficiencies of support departments and improve the effectiveness of our frontline services. It will allow us to be a more viable partner to work more closely with local services to deliver joined up services focusing on the needs and wants of local people. We will be better placed to take a more proactive role in important initiatives such as the development of Wiltshire’s community campuses and hubs and the One Swindon programme.
We are working with the Consultation Institute to ensure that public and stakeholder consultation is comprehensive and robust. In response to some helpful feedback we have extended the public consultation period to run from 16th June through to 22 September.

To assist the event planning, it is requested that you advise Michael Franklin, Partnerships & Community Engagement Manager if you are able to attend one of the meetings. Could you please do so by email: michael.franklin@wiltsfire.gov.uk and could you indicate which event you would like to attend.


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