Vera Baird

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PCC joins Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority

12th September 2017

Dame Vera Baird QC begins work as a member of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority this month, following an invitation from the membership to join them in a bid to boost existing collaboration initiatives.

Last year, the Commissioner and the Authority were at the forefront of creating a collaboration board between Northumbria Police, Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service. The objective of this collaboration is to look for commonality and see where savings can be made whilst maintaining the unique identities of the two services.

The Commissioner has been appointed as a member of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority. Her role is about bringing her knowledge and expertise to help drive the effective management of resources to ensure communities are being served effectively by both emergency services. 

While the Commissioner believes the police and fire service are very different, and recognises the need for separate accountability, she is committed to taking the partnership to the next level and is working to identify priority areas where closer working can lead to enhanced public service and efficiency savings, which ultimately deliver greater value for money.

She said: “Working closely together is about maximising opportunities and improving effectiveness as best we can – we all agree this is good for the public as a whole.

“Over the years, the police and fire and rescue services have shared facilities, started to work from the same buildings, share the great young people’s training resource at Safetyworks! in Newcastle and have taken forward together a number of successful initiatives throughout Northumbria. Now we are taking our partnership to the next level. It demonstrates a joint determination to make further savings to reinvest in our respective services whilst offering the best service possible to local residents.”

Cllr. Thomas Wright, Chairman of the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority welcomed the appointment, saying:  “Given the benefits of closer collaborative working already achieved, TWFRA would strive to continue to identify opportunities and enhance a shared focus on mutually agreed areas of targeted community risk.”

In July 2016, Northumbria Police, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), with their three governance bodies, all signed a statement of intent for enhanced collaboration which provides a framework to explore opportunities for greater collaborative working.

Following the statutory process set out by the government  Commissioner Baird has commenced the process similarly to join Northumberland Fire and Rescue Authority, a part of the County Council.


PHOTO: PCC Dame Vera Baird at the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority meeting which took place on September 11th.