Have your say on WMFS

Have your say on how we keep the West Midlands safe

People throughout the West Midlands are being invited to have their say on how the region’s fire service works - now and into the future.

West Midlands Fire Service is seeking views on its Community Safety Strategy for the next three years. The consultation will run from 19 November 2012 to 4 January 2013.

People are being urged to complete an online survey, illustrated with short videos explaining how WMFS currently sets its priorities and works day-to-day.

The online survey can be found (from 19 Nov) by following the banner links from the homepage of www.wmfs.net. It will be complemented with a range of events and initiatives organised locally within the service’s borough command areas - for example, to seek the views of harder-to-reach community members and those who don’t have access to the internet.

Participants will be asked to answer a short series of questions on issues such as:

  • how WMFS prioritises the incidents it responds to and deploys resources
  • how the service is introducing new types of vehicles to attend incidents
  • fire and road traffic collision prevention and education work
  • challenging certain requests for WMFS help, and charging for some types of non-emergency call-outs
  • how the service could do things differently, and whether it offers value for money.

Councillor John Edwards, Chair of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “West Midlands Fire Service offers an extremely wide range of services, from educating schoolchildren about fire safety through to dealing with large-scale major incidents. We’re keen to hear from as many people as possible as part of our consultation, so we can work the feedback into our planning and budgeting.

“The services we provide currently cost the average council tax band ‘D’ payer £47.83 a year - that’s less than £1 a week - compared to the UK average of £64.12.

“We’re dealing with unprecedented central government funding cuts for our service, and are braced for more to be announced just before Christmas. As a result, we’re having to make significant changes to how we deliver our services and we want to talk with our communities about the best way to do this."

Ends

Media note: Issued by Neil Spencer, Senior Media Relations Officer, West Midlands Fire Service, tel 0121 380 6101. Regular updates on incidents and other WMFS activities can be found on the media voicebank, tel 0871 550 0056. On Twitter we’re @WestMidsFire.

Press Release Date: 
Friday, November 16, 2012 - 15:45