Have your say on the future of Norfolk's fire service

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is looking at the way it provides services across the County. Like so many other services, it needs to do this because of planned cuts to its funding. They are asking for views from the public.

You can find detailed information online online by clicking on this link

I am particularly keen to encourage people to have a say about how the fire service deals with flooding risk. On page 36 of the consultation document, the fire service says this:

Currently a key part of our emergency response is the ability to respond to major incidents, such as transport accidents, wide area flooding, environmental contamination and collapsed buildings.

After the floods of 2007 we received grant funding from Government to help us respond to flooding - this was in addition to a grant allocated by the County Council. This allowed us to set up a specialist water rescue and flooding service. In return for this grant, we were expected to attend incidents outside Norfolk, providing specialist expertise across the country. However, this national funding is coming to an end in 2017.

By law we do not need to provide a specialist water rescue and flooding service so we could end the specialist service. If, however, we want to keep providing a flood response for Norfolk after 2017, we would have to save money from elsewhere in order to fund it. To help us with our plans for the future we are interested in your views on this.

North Norfolk residents need to make their voice heard if they have views on how the emergency services prioritise response to flooding. You can respond to the consultation in the following ways:

The consultation closes in mid-January. I would be interested to hear your views too.

Cap on care costs

Cap on care costs

As Care Minister I secured a commitment to deliver reform of our unfair care funding system. The reforms would have made sure people didn't have to sell their house in their lifetime to pay for care, and that far more people would get some financial help towards their care. The Tories have now said the reforms will not be introduced next year as planned. Will you sign my petition to demand they honour their commitment?