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Starbeck level crossing & new fire engines

Information provided

Our Ref: NY8370 - Date: 24.03.2023


I write in connection with your request for information that was received by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire (OPFCC) 20 March 2023

I note you seek access to the following information:  

Could you please tell me: 

  • 1 Where did this incorrect info come from and was it not checked? 
  • 2 Will the commissioner be reviewing her decision on removing one of the night time fire engines from Harrogate as fears about Starbeck level crossing were one of the main sources of concern, and it seems her decision was based on false information? 
  • 3 A councillor has called for an urgent meeting to discuss concerns in light of this FoI. Is this something the commissioner will commit to? 
  • 4 We’ve also been alerted by council taxpayers that info sent out with their 2023/24 bills says NYFRS is investing in 16 new fire engines, 12 for delivery in 2023/24 and 4 in 2024/25. Do you have details of this please as we were unaware? How much are they costing and where will they be stationed?

Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information 

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted within the OPFCC.

I can confirm that some of the information you have requested is held by the OPFCC.


I have today decided to disclose the located information to you.

  1. The information was provided in conversation, not in writing and it would not be routine or appropriate for the Commissioner to verify operational advice provided by an operational colleague. It is important to emphasise that both the initial (minor) misapprehension by NYFRS and the Commissioner’s subsequent mention of it, was in good faith.

Questions 2 and 3 are not requests for recorded information under the Freedom of Information Act, but we are of course happy to provide answers as follows:

  1. The Risk and Resource Model proposals have been the subject of a detailed modelling and consultation process undertaken in support of the review of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service provision. As such, this piece of information is not sufficiently material to warrant a reconsideration of a statutory planning process that is now complete.
  1. The Commissioner is always open to discussions with elected representatives and welcomes the opportunity to engage with those elected representatives and members of the community of North Yorkshire alike. As above, the information is not considered sufficiently material to warrant a reconsideration of a statutory planning process that is now complete. Nonetheless, the Commissioner recognises that local concerns about this misunderstanding should be addressed and proposes to offer a meeting with herself and North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, should any local councillor wish to avail themselves of that opportunity.
  1. Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act applies in relation to this request, because the information is reasonably accessible by other means. This information can be found as per the below link:

Please note that systems used for recording information are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  It should be noted therefore that the OPFCC’s response to your questions should not be used for comparison purposes with any other responses you may receive.

Complaint Rights

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right of complaint.

If you have any queries concerning this request, please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely,

Tina James-McGrath
Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, North Yorkshire 



Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the decision is incorrect?

You have the right to request that the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire (OPFCC) reviews their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again –

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and assist with any problems.


If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision the OPFCC made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding access to information, you can lodge a complaint with the OPFCC to have the decision reviewed.  The OPFCC must be notified of your intention to complain within 2 months of the date of its response to your Freedom of Information request.  Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
12 Granby Road

In all possible circumstances the OPFCC will aim to respond to your complaint as soon as practicable but within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the OPFCC if you are still dissatisfied with the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner please visit their website at https://ico.org.uk. Alternatively, phone: 0303 123 1113 or write to:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane