THE police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire has won her battle to take over the governance of the county's fire and rescue service.

The decision by the Home Secretary means Julia Mulligan can now start preparation work in earnest for the formal transfer of governance, planned for this autumn

Her local business case, which was submitted to the Home Office in September, sets out at least £6.6m of savings, proposals for streamlining senior management, collaboration on back office support services and sharing buildings between the two services.

However the campaign has attracted controversy - with the county's Police and Crime Panel among those that objected.

Ms Mulligan said: “First of all I would like to thank the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for the excellent work they do in keeping the people of North Yorkshire safe. There is a lot to do, but I am very much looking forward to working with them, and I thank them for their help, and for being so candid during last summer’s roadshows.

“I’m pleased that the Home Secretary has recognised the benefits that joint oversight of police and fire services will bring to the people of North Yorkshire.

"By bringing both organisations under the same governance, we can increase the speed and depth at which we collaborate, improve transparency and efficiency of both organisations, saving at least £6.6m, to be reinvested into frontline policing and fire services.

She added: “This process has not been without controversy, and I would like to thank and acknowledge all the councillors and MPs that have contributed to, and scrutinised, my business case and consultation to make sure that this was a robust process.

"I’d also like thank the public for their clear support - we received over 2,500 responses to our consultation, of which 71 per cent preferred PCC-led oversight.”