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Speaking on the Chancellor’s announcement, London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said:
“It’s essential government recognise that the fire and rescue service needs a level of protection, which is indicated by the reduction from a general 10% DCLG saving to 7.5% for fire and rescue services nationally. Previously I’ve been successful in arguing for a lower reduction based on our special requirements here in London, and I will be arguing our case again - especially given the significant savings we are already making.”
Responding to references in the announcement to the Sir Ken Knight report, the Commissioner continued:
“Many of the recommendations in Sir Ken’s report have been implemented in London, resulting in savings of £71 million since 2009. I note that funds will be made available, albeit at a national level, to encourage joint working and ensure resources are positioned in the best locations to serve the community. In London our plans have for many years been based on stations and fire engines being based in the right place to provide London with the best level of response in the UK.”
Government is relatively protecting fire and rescue authorities by applying a 7.5 % reduction to their budgets overall. The Sir Ken Knight Review made a strong case for the opportunities for further reform within the Fire and Rescue Service. Therefore the Government is creating:
• a £45 million Fire Efficiency Incentive Fund to invest capital in ensuring that fire service assets such as fire stations are appropriately located to ensure efficient and effective service delivery; and
• a £30 million resource fund through the local government settlement to encourage joint working between fire and rescue authorities, collaboration with other blue lights services, and to meet the upfront costs of service transformation.
In December 2012 the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) stated that the provisional settlement for fire formula grant would result in an average reduction of 7.2% in 2013/14 for fire and rescue services. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority received a provisional grant allocation of 3.97% .