Have your say and help shape the future of your fire and rescue service

Berkshire residents, workers and commuters have a chance to have their say on the future of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) during an eight-week consultation on the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority’s (RBFA) draft Corporate Plan and Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) for the years 2019 – 2023.

The public consultation will run until Friday, 28 September (5pm), during which RBFRS is encouraging anyone that lives, works or travels in Berkshire to have their say on the proposals outlined.

The plan contains RBFA’s key commitments to the public and explains the way it intends to deliver services over the next four years to underpin its mission of Serving the People of Royal Berkshire 

The IRMP section of the plan outlines how RBFRS identifies and assesses all fire and rescue related risks that could affect Royal Berkshire’s communities. This includes incidents that are routinely dealt with, such as fires and vehicle accidents to incidents that occur less frequently, such as large-scale flooding.

RBFA is consulting on five key projects, which it has identified to be delivered through its prevention, protection and response activities.

Councillor Emma Webster, Lead Member for IRMP at RBFA said: “IRMP is the way we safely and effectively manage risk to ensure we deliver the best possible service for the people of Royal Berkshire.”

“In simple terms, IRMP ensures that we have the right resources, in the right place, at the right time in order to address the risks, which threaten our communities.”

The consultation also includes questions on how RBFRS manages its resources in order to deliver a value for money service. Respondents will be asked for their views on whether they would like to see extra financial flexibility for their fire and rescue service. 

Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman of RBFA, said: “Royal Berkshire Fire Authority is committed to delivering value for money. As one of the lowest precepting Authorities in the Country we have a proven track record of prudence and sound financial management.”

“Residents pay just over £64 per year, or £1.23 per week for the vital services provided by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. We would like the flexibility to be able to increase the annual council tax charge for your Fire and Rescue Service by £5 per year, or just under 10 pence per week.”

“We in the Fire Authority think this small increase, to maintain such vital emergency services, would still represent remarkable value for money.”

“We are really keen to hear your views on our latest plan, so please have your say and help shape the future of your fire and rescue service.”

People can take part in the consultation in a number of ways:

  • ·Visit: rbfrs.co.uk/haveyoursay
  • ·Email: IRMP@rbfrs.co.uk
  • ·Call us on 0118 945 2888
  • ·Write to us at: Newsham Court, Pincents Kiln, Calcot, Reading, Berkshire, RG31 7SD

The consultation document and a short video are available on RBFRS’ website at rbfrs.co.uk/haveyoursay.

If anyone would like a hard copy or require assistance with accessing the information in an alternative format or language, please contact us using any of the methods above.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service provides prevention, protection and response services across the county of Berkshire. 12 wholetime and eight on-call fire stations cover 486 square miles, from Langley in the East to Lambourn in the West. It serves a diverse cultural population of 863,000, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The role of RBFRS within local communities is evolving. A wide range of services help keep communities safe, including safety and protection advice to residents and businesses, as well as enforcing fire safety legislation and reducing fire risk in the built environment. This is in addition to highly skilled crews providing a swift and effective response to incidents ranging from road, rail, aviation and waterway accidents, to fuel and chemical spills, collapsed buildings, large animal rescues and, of course, fires.

RBFRS is under the direction of a combined Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, which is made up of representatives from the county’s six unitary authorities. RBFRS also works alongside Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, Public Health, and other public service providers in Berkshire. In doing so, it is helping to contribute to the overall safety of the communities it serves, whilst still providing a value-for-money service to the local taxpayer.