IMPROVEMENTS need to be made to North Yorkshire’s Fire and Rescue Service according to a new report.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has today published inspection reports on all of the region’s fire services.

The Inspectorate rated Cleveland and County Durham and Darlington’s fire services as performing to a good standard, but judged that North Yorkshire Fire’s service requires improvement.

Officials noted that although the North Yorkshire service is ‘good’ at effectively keeping people safe, it needs to improve in two other key areas; how efficiently it manages its resources and how it looks after its people.

HM Inspector Phil Gormley said that although the service is “generally effective” at keeping people safe, its understanding of risk requires improvement.

He said that the Inspectorate also has concerns around the service’s financial sustainability.

Mr Gormley said: “The delayed introduction of tactical response vehicles has contributed to an estimated budget deficit of £2.5 million.

“More generally, the service’s current financial plans rely on using reserve funds, which is unsustainable.

“The recent transfer of governance to the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner should improve the service’s efficiency, including increasing its collaboration activities.”

Mr Gormley said the service takes staff wellbeing seriously, but more work was needed in ensuring diversity in the workforce.

CFO Andrew Brodie of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said work was being done to improve, including holding special taster days for women as part of a recent recruitment campaign.

Mr Brodie said: “I think the report provides a fair and balanced view of our service and there are no surprises for us in it, we’d already identified them since I started here in January.”

He added: “There are some areas for improvements that have been identified and we’ve started work on these already.

“We’ve worked hard to identify ways to balance our budget and hope to do so earlier than planned. The next steps will identify further savings so we can invest in our staff, buildings, vehicles and equipment.”

Mr Gormley said most aspects of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s performance are good but, it requires improvement in how it looks after its workforce.

The Cleveland service was judged to be performing well in each of the main areas of inspection, which Mr Gormley said was “impressive” given that it has faced some of the largest cuts to its government funding.