Fire and Rescue Service

Constitutional Affairs written statement – made on 8th February 2007.

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Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The fire and rescue service has been undergoing a significant change programme over the past few years so that it is better equipped to meet the challenges of today's world. The way in which Government engage with the service has also been subject to review. As a consequence the role and function of HM Fire Service Inspectorate has changed and it no longer undertakes its original core role of inspecting all fire and rescue services in England. We have, therefore, decided that it is no longer appropriate to retain the Inspectorate in its current form and that a new professional advisory unit would be better placed to provide independent support to Ministers and officials.

The unit, which for normal day to day working purposes will be called the chief fire and rescue adviser's unit, will be headed by a chief fire and rescue adviser. The primary responsibility for the Unit will be to provide Ministers and officials with direct access to a source of authoritative independent professional advice on matters of structure, organisation, performance and future development of fire and rescue business. The unit will also have a number of other duties including advising Ministers, senior officials, COBR and other Government Departments during a major emergency and providing professional advice on fire and rescue service matters to local authorities, professional bodies and other interested organisations on FRS matters.

We will be advertising for the position of chief fire and rescue adviser commencing on Sunday 11 February 2007 and expect the new unit to be formally established by summer 2007.

The chief fire and rescue adviser will be a high profile position. We will be seeking to attract a candidate with proven experience and well developed skills who can demonstrate a strong record of performance across a broad range of criteria given the key role that the chief fire and rescue adviser will be expected to play.

Sir Graham Meldrum, HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services retired on 31 January 2007 after many years distinguished service as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services. We have established, from 1 February 2007, a transition team within the fire and resilience directorate with a clear brief to manage the interim period and prepare for the formation of the new advisory unit.

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neil scott
Posted on 13 Feb 2007 1:58 pm

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neil scott
Posted on 13 Feb 2007 1:58 pm

This annotation has been removed