Frustration among Warwickshire councillors over increased number of inspections of county's fire and rescue service

Inspectors have outlined three causes of concern for the service prompting a re-inspection earlier this month with another pencilled in for the autumn and another full inspection early next year

A report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services outlined three causes of concern - one in protection, one in prevention and one in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion - from when the county’s fire service came under the spotlight.
A report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services outlined three causes of concern - one in protection, one in prevention and one in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion - from when the county’s fire service came under the spotlight.

Frustrated county councillors are to contact government inspectors over the increased number of inspections being carried out on Warwickshire’s fire and rescue service.

A report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services outlined three causes of concern - one in protection, one in prevention and one in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion - from when the county’s fire service came under the spotlight.

That prompted a re-inspection earlier this month with another pencilled in for the autumn and another full inspection early next year.

Chief fire officer Ben Brook told this week’s meeting of the county council’s resources and fire and rescue overview and scrutiny committee: “We have an action plan in place that is looking to deliver all the improvements against the three causes of concern and against the 41 areas for improvement and we are making significant progress.

“At this stage we have only had verbal feedback from that re-inspection and are likely to get a letter in March or April.

"The verbal feedback suggested that we are making good progress particularly in relation to prevention but there is more work to do.

“We have been told there will be a re-inspection around the cause of concern around protection in the autumn.

"The next full inspection is likely to be in early 2023 so we haven’t got a great deal of time before then to drive the improvement but we are committed to doing so.”

Cllr Sarah Boad (Lib Dem, Leamington North) said: “I cannot believe we are having another full inspection so early

"This is like a constant load or stress with you constantly worrying about what’s going to happen in the future. Schools aren’t inspected this regularly.”

But Mr Brook explained that every fire and rescue service was inspected every two years.

He added: “The only difference is that because we have causes for concern they inspect every six months until they are happy that the cause of concern has been signed off appropriately.”

Committee chairman Cllr Adrian Warwick (Con, Fosse) said: “This does seem quite an onerous burden that has been put upon our fire service so can we note the concerns of this panel about the burden of inspection? Maybe it’s within our remit that we make a comment to the Inspectorate.”