OH DEAR, it’s always disappointing to see the leaders of our communities doing battle in public, particularly when they’re the guardians of our essential and highly prized emergency services. Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan clearly believes she has no choice but to air her grievances and try to hammer home the point that governance of the Fire Service would be better under her control.

The Fire Authority’s 16 members, led by chairman Cllr Andrew Backhouse, beg to differ, well in fact there’s no begging about it, they’ve said no, instead they’re urging ‘come and join us if you think you’ve got so much to offer’, and the county council is backing them. There is no doubt the Fire and Rescue Service is a different entity, in the past few years fires have dropped dramatically, 30 per cent less, and while they do a crucial job helping to save lives on the roads there has to be a question mark over whether their skills are being used to the best advantage.

As we saw at the Grenfell Tower tragedy these highly prized individuals are essential, no one needs a fire fighter or a fire engine until their home is ablaze or they’re trapped upside down in a coffin of a car on a rural road.

So fighting over who decides what as far as the fire service goes is unseemly. It does seem bizarre that the government, and more importantly the people, would want to go from a governing body of 16 councillors representing a huge cross section of the community, to one Commissioner, one is over the top, the other decidedly too lean. There is undoubtedly much space for collaboration between the police and the fire service, too many buildings probably, too old fashioned undoubtedly,but compromise is a marvellous thing.