GLOUCESTERSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed the news that a country-wide efficiency review will be held this year after making huge savings.

The latest figures from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy calculated the county’s fire service cost residents £35.33 per person per year, the lowest of all 56 comparable fire and rescue Authorities in the UK.

Of the neighbouring counties, Oxfordshire’s service cost residents £38.56 and Warwickshire’s £44.23 per year.

Gloucestershire’s Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall says the review will be an opportunity for the county service to show just how cost-effective it already is.

“We pride ourselves on being a highly successful service and, from the comments we receive, I know that local communities hugely value their firefighters,” he said.

“We are always looking at ways in which we can protect the most vulnerable people in society while maintaining that value for money.”

The Government’s outgoing Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor Sir Ken Knight will lead the review and seek to identify further savings and improvements across the country.

It will take in the views of local authorities, fire officers, trade unions and other emergency services as well consider the scope for increased use of shared services, flexible staffing, new technology and preventative approaches to fire safety.