Why is Hampshire “the apple of the home secretary’s eye”?
Theresa May praised the collaborative work of the county’s firefighters and police when speaking at the heart of government.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue and Hampshire Constabulary were highlighted in the House of Commons on Monday, as a beacon of success for their sharing of resources, during a debate on the Police and Crime Bill.
In a UK first the police moved into the fire service HQ late last year and this partnership work has already been rolled out in several stations with neighbourhood teams working alongside their firefighter counterparts.
May said: “The benefits that we have seen in areas such as Great Manchester (sic) can be brought to other parts of the country.
“There are other examples. Hampshire, Northamptonshire and many other places are also looking to put that collaboration into practice.”
The pioneering work of the blue light services was then highlighted by Winchester Conservative MP Steve Brine who added: “I am grateful to the Home Secretary for mentioning Hampshire before I did. I know that she is looking for reform to continue and for collaboration between the emergency services.”
Mr Brine referenced Hampshire as a “genuine trailblazer” in its collaboration work and asked: “So is Hampshire not the apple of her eye as she embarks on this bill?”
The home secretary said: “I am tempted to do that. I should perhaps respond that my hon. friend the member for Winchester is the apple of my eye when he stands up and makes such a point about Hampshire.
“Hampshire is a very good example of the collaboration that can work. The minister for policing, crime and criminal justice has visited Hampshire.
“These are all innovative ideas that provide a better service to people. I commend Hampshire and other parts of the country where they are putting this collaboration into practice.”
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service chief officer Dave Curry said: “We pride ourselves on collaborations with partners, allowing us to provide an exemplary service to the people of Hampshire and give them the best value for money.
“We are delighted this partnership work is being recognised nationally.”