Shropshire Fire and Rescue to launch new company

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Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has announced plans to set up a private company.

It said the new firm would sell fire safety checks and advice to other organisations in a bid to generate money for the fire service.

The service has already made cuts of £3m from its £20m annual budget and faces further savings of £1.6m a year.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond said any profit would go directly into the fire service budget.

Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority has approved a detailed business plan to set up the new company and made available a £20,000 loan.

Extra staff

It is unclear when the new firm will start trading.

In the long term, the fire service said it could also sell services such as health and safety advice and first aid training.

If needed, it said extra staff would be taken on and current staff would be monitored to ensure their primary duties are not compromised.

Recent changes to legislation means public bodies can trade commercially and earn a profit.

Last year Shropshire Council set up a company to trade services such as legal, finance and IT support, primarily to other public bodies.

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