Surrey Lib Dems voice concerns over fire service’s tall buildings policy

25 Sep 2023
Will Forster in Victoria Square

The report from the latest HMICFRS inspection of Surrey Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) paints a disappointing picture, in which of the 11 areas of operation inspected, just one was rated as ‘Good’, three as ‘Adequate’ and seven as ‘Requires Improvement’. 

In the report summary it was noted that “We were disappointed to find that the service hadn’t made the progress we expected since our 2021 inspection”. “Service culture has improved” but “although the service has made some improvements since our last inspection, other areas have deteriorated or are unchanged”. 

In addition to the concerns raised about the service’s performance in many areas the Inspectorate found that even though it was well funded, SFRS did not make the best use of its resources. The report calls on the service to demonstrate to residents and businesses that it is value for money by better allocating resources to the delivery of its protection and prevention work.  

Leader of Surrey Lib Dems, Will Forster said: “Overall the report is concerning on a number of fronts and the Inspectorate is quite clear in saying SFRS is not where they expected it to be. In particular I am worried about the lack of an effective tall buildings policy. As a councillor in Woking, where high rise developments have become a feature of the town’s landscape, I need to be able to reassure residents that if the worst happens, SFRS has the capability and capacity to come to their aid. Unfortunately, this report raises more questions than it answers.” 


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