Cash boost for fire service

SHORTCOMINGS in the fire service in Norfolk's market towns and rural areas will start to be addressed in the coming months after it was agreed to spend an extra �333,000 on a series of changes to the service.

SHORTCOMINGS in the fire service in Norfolk's market towns and rural areas will start to be addressed in the coming months after it was agreed to spend an extra �333,000 on a series of changes to the service.

Fire chiefs have known for some time they need to make changes and a comprehensive review was conducted to identify the best options.

Those options were considered at a meeting of the Norfolk County Council's fire and community protection overview and scrutiny panel yesterday, where members agreed to the proposed changes. The decision will still need to be ratified at higher levels of the council, but is unlikely to be overturned.

Some of the changes will be funded through a shake up, while others needed the new budgets agreed to go ahead.


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All are designed to tackle problems such as low staffing levels, a lack of support, not enough time to devote to paperwork or training and improving operational response and community fire protection and safety.

Redeployment of staff and new roles such as nine new retained support officers are among the proposals.

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Chief fire officer Richard Elliott said the changes were “root and branch” and involved a large number of people over a period of several years.

“We don't intend to do any of this by people losing jobs,” added Mr Elliott.

“We don't intend to impose this, but to do it in cooperation with staff and unions.

“This has been a long time coming, but it is a comprehensive piece of work.”

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