Bucks Fire and Rescue Service has been crippled by “significant financial constraints,” say inspectors whilst the service has been praised for how it deals with incidents.
Her Majesty’s Inspectors assessed the fire and rescue service’s effectiveness, efficiency and how well it looks after people.
The service, which covers 724 square miles, requires improvement in its effectiveness in responding to fires and other emergencies, protecting the public through fire regulations and preventing fires and other risks.
On the other hand, the report said the service is good at looking after its people by promoting the right values and culture, getting the right people with the right skills and ensuring fairness and promoting diversity.
The county receives the lowest council tax for any Combined Fire Authority across the country at less than £65 a year for a band D property, which has resulted in cuts to how the service operates. The inspector stated that “in large part this is due to circumstances beyond their control”.
Jason Thelwell, Bucks Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer said: “The report highlights the significant challenges we are facing and we are of course incredibly proud of our staff.
“The report makes it quite clear that there are no concerns about how we deal with incidents. The report also clearly states that ‘fundamentally…it does not have enough people and money’ and ‘without increased funding, it is difficult to see where progress can be made’.
“Our staff have worked incredibly hard to maintain the service we provide to our community, but this is becoming increasingly difficult. The inspector has stated that this is a well-run service and that the service is to be commended for its resilience.”
Overall, inspectors would like to see improvements in the year ahead, but without increased funding, they say it is difficult to see where progress can be made.