Northamptonshire Labour group calls for halt to police and fire merger plans


Plans to merge police and fire services should be put on hold, according to the Northamptonshire Labour group.

The Home Office has announced plans to provide £620,000 to facilitate the start of the merge, However, the Labour group claims it is still unclear how the whole project will be funded.

Cllr Julie Brookfield (Lab, Corby West) has said police commissioner Adam Simmonds, who is pushing forward the merger proposal, should first address major concerns with the police service.

She said: “Anti-social behaviour, incidents of violent crime and the number of burglaries across our county still remains too high, but rather than focusing on these issues, our police and crime commissioner wants to continue building his empire, by taking over the county’s fire service.

“Before any plan is approved, there needs to be a full public consultation detailing how many jobs are going to be lost and any impact to either service.

“I am confident when the facts are revealed to the public they will agree with Labour that there is no place for politics in either the police or fire services.”

Labour leader, Cllr John McGhee (Lab, Kingswood), has said he wants both services to remain independent.

He said: “What you wouldn’t want is a police car turning up instead of a fire engine, and vice versa.”

“We fully back the firefighters and police officers who are already opposed to this merger and the potential issues that it could cause in the future.

“There is no place for politics within policing and I certainly don’t want to see Adam Simmonds running our fire service.

“His focus on building his empire of emergency services and spin doctors would be at the expense of jobs and frontline services.”