THIS week our readers got talking after approval was given for Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s bid to take control of the fire service. 

Cumbria County Council had responsibility for the fire service but is set to be abolished in April 2023 with the existing city and borough councils, making way for two new unitary authorities of Cumberland and Westmorland & Furness.

The PCC, Peter McCall, submitted the bid to take on the fire service to make its fate one less decision that needed to be made in the local government reform process.

Upon his approval, Peter McCall said: "As the County Council is replaced next year by two Unitary Authorities and new potential legislation will require a nominated and elected individual to assume responsibility for fire governance, it makes sense to bring governance together with the Office of the PCC which already carries out a similar function for policing.

“The essential mission is to ensure that there is no disruption to the delivery of Fire and Rescue services to the public across the county and the protection of support services and staff in a smooth transition which will take some time," he said. 

Here's what our readers had to say: 

Steve Reilley wrote: "We've all seen what happened whey politicians were put in charge of the police, it was a disaster. Now they are doing it with the fire service, next it'll be ambulances."

A reader by the alias of Bonzo Do-Dah said: "If you take out the opinion as to whether the current incumbent is the right man for the job this is otherwise a fairly sensible approach. The Fire Service and Police are both Emergency response services, so it would fit better together than the Fire Service being ran by the Council." 

Chris Campbell said: "Unfortunately the alternative would have been to split them into the Unitary authorities, creating the 2 smallest fire services in the country - it's the least worse option." 

Al Davis was a bit more critical however: "The public sector specialises in producing useless jobs, then charging it to the taxpayer." 

JB1030 said: "The old saying get your own house in order first springs to mind." 

READ MORE: Cumbria PCC: fire service needs 'appropriate financial settlement'