Watford Mayor Peter Taylor will tell the Home Office that the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service should remain under the control of the county council, rather than transfer to the police and crime commissioner.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd believes that bringing both emergency services under the same umbrella would cut costs, enable better joint working and improve public safety.

He has formally applied to the Home Office to take over control and governance of the Fire Service, in Hertfordshire.

But the county council has opposed the plans, telling the Home Office they are flawed – financially, operationally and democratically.

And now Watford Mayor Peter Taylor is to echo the county council’s concerns in a letter to the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd.

He said: “Giving control of the fire service to the police and crime commissioner is a potentially worrying step.

“It is important that Watford has joined with the county council and neighbouring councils of all political colours to make clear our opposition to this move and the loss of proper democratic oversight of our fire service.

“I’ll be writing to the Home Office to express Watford Borough Council’s concern about this move and urging them to rethink their plans.”

Mr Taylor is to contact the Home Office, following a unanimous vote by a meeting of the full council, on Tuesday.

A cross-party motion – proposed by Liberal Democrat Tim Williams and seconded by Labour councillor Nigel Bell – called for the fire service to remain under the control of the county council.

It supported the views of the county council and the submission of the leader of the county council, in opposition to the plans.

And it instructed Mayor Peter Taylor to write to the minister “in a similar vein” to the leader of Hertfordshire County Council.

A similar motion was backed by councillors in Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council earlier in the week.

It is believed similar motion may also be put to other borough and district councils in Hertfordshire.

Cllr Willliams, Watford Borough Council’s executive member for client services, says he believes there is greater democratic accountability and scrutiny under the county council, than they would be under the PCC.

He says the fire service currently works well – and hopes the council’s action may influence the Home Office’s ultimate decision..

He said: “I would like to think the Home Office will now see that there are lots of people in Hertfordshire agianst this – that they will reconsider, and say ‘no’.

No date has been set for the Home Office to determine the Police and Crime Commissioner’s application. However it is believed a decision could be reached before Parliament rises for the Summer Recess.