Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service have announced proposals for a new shared headquarters at Sherwood Lodge, Arnold.
At a meeting held last Friday (28 Sept), attended by the Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, the Fire Authority gave the go-ahead for the development of detailed designs and costings for a new joint Headquarters on the site of the current Police HQ at Sherwood Lodge.
Last year it was agreed that the three emergency services – Police, Fire & Rescue and Ambulance - would review their estate within the County to identify sites suitable for colocation, alongside opportunities to realise the investment in under-utilised buildings.
Since then several successful colocation agreements have seen two or three services working from one building for both financial and operational efficiency. The review also highlighted the potential for a shared Fire and Police Headquarters as part of the drive to increase efficiency, effectiveness and public safety between the two services.
A number of options have been explored and a full, detailed proposal for a shared HQ at Sherwood Lodge will now be submitted to next February’s (2019) meeting of the Fire Authority.
Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, who holds responsibility for the police estate, welcomed the news, saying that this was highly-logical ‘blue-light’ collaboration.
He added: “This is what partnership working is all about. If these plans go ahead it will bring benefits for the staff, the two organisations and ultimately the taxpayers. This will see both services working together in a modern, efficient, building that is fit for the foreseeable future.”
CC Craig Guildford said: “I am really pleased that we have progressed far enough to get an agreement in principle for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to come and join us at Force HQ, in a shared headquarters. This is most efficient and effective way of us working together and is the start of steps moving towards further collaboration with them.
“There will be a host of benefits from this partnership, not only saving money that can be invested back into frontline services but working closer together when tackling issues of community safety. We have already held training at some of the existing fire buildings and we are continuing to look at ways we can work closer more efficiently across Nottinghamshire to better serve the public.”
The Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Brian Grocock said: “Collaboration is a key objective for the Authority, both in terms of what it represents to the communities we serve and for ensuring that we strengthen the way we work with our blue-light partners. The prospect of a shared HQ with Nottinghamshire Police demonstrates our commitment to this priority and the next few months will be critical in ensuring the proposals meet the expectations of both services, as well as demonstrating the positive benefits for our communities.”
If agreed, taking all factors into consideration, the option to add to the current and planned capacity at Sherwood Lodge is believed to be the most practical, achievable and affordable shared HQ option available to meet future needs.
It would support a more effective exchange of information relating to community safety, which will ultimately benefit the communities that both organisations serve.
If the full proposal is approved, it is envisaged that the implementation programme would take between two to five years to complete.
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Posted on Thursday 4th October 2018