CHESHIRE’S police and crime commissioner has ‘no plans at present’ to claim more power on the county’s fire and rescue service, his office has said.

David Keane, a Labour councillor in Warrington, will be given the opportunity to become a full member of the Cheshire Fire Authority with voting rights later this year under new Government guidelines.

His future role was discussed last Wednesday by members of the authority’s governance and constitution committee, where it was suggested Mr Keane could launch a bid to take over the service if a request to join the authority was rejected.

But in a statement released this morning, Monday, Mr Keane’s office says he is satisfied with his current role with the fire service.

“The commissioner has been granted rights to attend and speak at Cheshire Fire Authority meetings but has no voting rights,” a spokesman for Mr Keane said.

“This arrangement works effectively and there are no plans at present to change this position.

“Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service currently have one of the most ambitious collaboration programmes in the country that has already delivered significant, innovative joint working arrangements, including the protection of front line services by combining back office services.

“The commissioner is personally involved in the development of this collaboration and will work with the fire authority to shape the future of emergency service provision in Cheshire.”