Lincolnshire’s emergency services a step closer to joint working

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Lincolnshire County Council’s executive committee has today (Tuesday) approved plans for the county’s emergency services to work more closely together.

The collaboration proposal aiming to improve frontline services and strengthen partnerships was put forward by Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), the Police and Crime Commissioner and Lincolnshire County Council, and included plans for:

• A blue light tri-service campus – police, fire and ambulance - at South Park, Lincoln

• A joint police and fire HQ and a co-located command and control centre at Nettleham

• Wider estates review sharing stations across Lincolnshire

• A review into how services can work more closely together

The project will be funded by a £7.5m investment from the Government’s Police Innovation Fund and match funding from local services.

If approved, the partners are expected to deliver this collaboration programme by December 2018.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Marc Jones said: “I said during the election process that I supported the prospect of blue light collaboration and I am very pleased that this major step forward has come so soon after my election as Police and Crime Commissioner.

“Myself and the Chief Constable are very clear that each organisation will maintain its individual identity and stress that this is about effective partnership and not ‘take-over’.

“I thoroughly look forward to playing an active part in progressing this exciting project.”

Coun Nick Worth, executive councillor for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This positive project will see the emergency services in Lincolnshire using their buildings and estates in a more effective manner. It will allow financial efficiencies in the longer term, better opportunities for closer working and will undoubtedly improve services for the public.”

Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes said: “We’ve been working together to identify opportunities which would enable our services to work more closely together to deliver a better service to the local community and reviewing our buildings and estates made perfect sense. “Creating a joint HQ at Nettleham with the fire brigade and a new tri-service hub at South Park provides a unique shared working environment that develops stronger partnership working as well as an environment that is fit for modern policing.”

Acting Chief Fire Officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Nick Borrill said: “Working in collaboration with our colleagues from other agencies is a fundamental part of how we work, for example with our home safety check service as well as our co-responder scheme and Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project.

“By working side by side at sites throughout the county, we can achieve greater value for money and long term savings, as well as allowing us to strengthen our relationships and deliver the best service possible for the community.”

EMAS general manager for Lincolnshire Andy Hill said: “This is a really innovative collaboration project and should these plans go ahead, EMAS would be delighted to be involved.”

Plans will further be presented to the Police and Crime Commissioner for approval.

As the project progresses, local communities will be kept informed and staff associations will be consulted with. Information will also be available on www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/bluelight and will be kept updated as the project progresses.