Police and Crime Commissioner's grab for fire service slammed from all sides

The attempt by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd to also take over fire services in Herts has met all party opposition as Herts County Council voted unanimously against, despite David Lloyd having been the Conservative ruling group's deputy leader until recently.

Welwyn Hatfield council, also under Tory control, saw its cabinet vote against, as did the all-party Social Overview Committee.

"This is an unprecedented snub for the PCC. Clearly councillors have made a decision on the facts of the case, which was very weak, and I totally welcome that" said local LibDem leader Malcolm Cowan.

"I imagine councillors were also worried about the same cuts being visited on the fire service that the police have suffered. I know David wanted to close down both WGC and Hatfield fire stations; thankfully that threat has subsided as Welwyn Hatfield council voted to stop the sites being zoned for housing.

"What is important now is for the government to respect and act upon the clearly expressed views of local representatives, rather than the county's MPs, who couldn't wait to rubber-stamp David Lloyd's power grab."

Barbara Gibson, County Councillor for Haldens Division, and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Community Safety, commented: "In spite of the unsupported claims of David Lloyd, the evidence does not show that moving the fire service would result in ANY benefits, financial or otherwise. In my view this proposal is not in the interests of public safety."

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