Despite the funding reductions affecting public sector organisations across the country, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is confident it can continue to rise to the challenges ahead. The Service has made savings of around £1.5 million in the previous financial year.
"We’ve set ourselves another ambitious target for this current financial year and we’re hoping to save a further £1.3 million."
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford
The Service has set itself a savings target of £1 million savings per year in order to meet the anticipated £4 million reduction in spending required by 2014/15.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford said: "We’re in the process of finalising the accounts from the last financial year but it looks as though we’ve achieved savings of £1.5 million, which puts us ahead of our target.
"We’ve made these savings by changing the way we work, rather than simply making cuts. Importantly there has been no compromise to community or firefighter safety and we’ve ensured the people of Staffordshire continue to receive the excellent level of service they expect. In fact, a in a recent survey of Staffordshire residents, over 90% felt that we are making a good contribution to making people safer in their local communities."
Over the past 12 months the Service has introduced a new management structure across the county along with a range of changes to the way it works behind the scenes. Other initiatives have included the sharing of services such as occupational health with Staffordshire Police.
Peter Dartford continued: "We’ve set ourselves another ambitious target for this current financial year and we’re hoping to save a further £1.3 million. We’ve a busy year ahead as we continue to identify new ways of working and as we progress our second private finance initiative project, which will see the rebuild of 11 of our fire stations.
"Over the summer we will be consulting with local residents, business and our partners about some of the changes we are proposing to make to our front line response service and other areas of the service that we are seeking to develop – such as our Community Interest Company and volunteer scheme."