Hampshire Fire and Rescue and Hampshire Police are to share some premises in a bid to improve services to the public while at the same time saving hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money every year.
The most significant building to become a joint facility is Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Headquarters in Eastleigh. Police and fire have co-located before in Southampton’s Redbridge Fire Station, in Stockbridge and most recently in Winchester. But his is a far bigger and more beneficial arrangement to both services
This is by no means a merger of fire and police and is not a move towards a merger, but it will allow the police and fire service to work more closely together by sharing some of their buildings. The arrangement will save Hampshire taxpayers over £1m per year without any cuts to services or job losses.
Many areas of the public sector look only at jobs and services when it comes to dealing with the after effects of the financial crash and have ruled out or refused to consider sharing services and premises with other public sector bodies. Hampshire Fire and Rescue and Hampshire Police are demonstrating how working more closely together can protect services to the public while managing a necessarily shrinking budget.