Fire service set to have trading arm

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THE financial side of Hampshire’s fire authority has agreed a limited company needs to be established by the county’s fire service to make up for a cash shortfall.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s (HFRA) finance committee agreed yesterday a commercial trading arm needs to be set up to generate cash. As previously reported, the force is expecting to see cuts in government funding over the next four years of up to £9m.

Among the services the new company would consider offering are providing training, risk analysis, equipment maintenance and testing, and the use of fire service premises.

Chairman, Councillor Ian Beagley said: ‘A trading company would provide a method to contribute to the shortfall in our funding, and any profits would go back to the HFRA.’

The proposal will now be presented to HFRA meeting on February 14.