Fire chiefs council to be established

A letter sent out by the Home Office this week has laid out minister’s plans for reform of the Fire and Rescue Service.

The letter promises the changes will ‘boost efficiency and collaboration; transparency and accountability; and diversity, flexibility and professionalisation of the workforce’.

One of the key changes will include the creation of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), an independent inspection regime and a professional standards body.

The letter also outlines the creation of a Policing and Fire Directorate, responsible for overseeing both bodies and ensuring closer collaboration.

It states: “Following the Machinery of Government change in January 2016, the Fire & Resilience Directorate was created in the Home Office.

“However, we took the opportunity to brigade specialist functions (e.g. commercial, pensions, analysis, finance) with existing centres of excellence elsewhere in the Department.

“In recognition of the close linkages between the fire and police reform agendas we will create an integrated Policing and Fire Directorate. This new directorate will be well-placed to lead closer collaboration between the two services and pool expertise on supporting and challenging common aspects of reform (e.g. workforce reform, inspection, transparency).

“The current Policing Director, David Lamberti, will lead the new Directorate; and the current Fire & Resilience Director, Dan Greaves, will move to be Crime Director on a substantive basis.

“Chloe Dunnett, Head of Fire Strategy and Reform will remain the key contact for delivery of the fire reform programme. These changes will take effect from Monday 13 March. 

“The Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, currently Peter Holland, performs many of the functions which will, in future, be exercised by the NFCC, an independent inspection regime and professional standards body.

“The role will cease in April 2017, however, we are clear that Peter has an important role to play in facilitating the transition to the new landscape. Peter has kindly agreed to stay on until 31 October as a Strategic Fire and Rescue Adviser, and will remain a key part of the Home Office team.”

It continues: “The Fire Strategy & Reform Unit and National Resilience and Fire Programmes team will retain secondees from the fire and rescue service to ensure continued professional advice and support to help develop national resilience capabilities and deliver the fire reform programme.”