To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 24 October 2018 to Question 180118 on Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service: Staff, whether his Department has had discussions with representatives of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service on staffing levels since 2015.
Central Government regularly engages with both fire and rescue services and authorities in relation to the delivery of fire provision in England.
I recently commissioned a piece of work to look at the demand and risks facing fire and rescue services in England. As part of this, I wrote to all services inviting them to provide evidence of changing demands and risk in their service. I also had a discussion with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in June 2018, to better understand the pressures they faced.
Central Government has not undertaken a formal assessment of workforce numbers. It is the responsibility of the Mayor of Greater Manchester to ensure that his local fire and rescue service have the appropriate resource in place to deliver their core functions and that their staff are appropriately supported to undertake their vital role.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) are currently undertaking an inspection programme which is looking at how effective and efficient each fire and rescue service in England is at keeping their communities safe from fire and other risks across their core functions of prevention, protection and response. This includes a focus on how services allocate and support their workforce to fulfil its core functions. HMICFRS will start discovery phase in Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in November and the results of the inspection are due to be made available by Summer 2019. We will give full consideration to these findings when made available.