Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority has met for the first time since the formation of two new constituent authorities and selected a new Chair in Cllr Rebecca Knox.

Yesterday’s meeting was the first for Councillors from the newly formed Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council and Dorset Council.

The Authority membership is now as follows:

  • Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council (five places) – Cllr Steve Baron, Cllr Malcolm Davies, Cllr Paul Hillard, Cllr Toby Johnson & Cllr Ann Stribley.
  • Dorset Council (four places) – Cllr Pete Barrow, Cllr Richard Biggs, Cllr Rebecca Knox & Cllr Byron Quayle.
  • Swindon Borough Council (three places) – Cllr Abdul Amin, Cllr Brian Mattock & Cllr Garry Perkins.
  • Wiltshire Council (six places) – Cllr Ernie Clark, Cllr Peter Hutton, Cllr Bob Jones, Cllr Christopher Newbury, Cllr Paul Oatway & Cllr Pip Ridout.

Cllr Knox was unanimously elected as Chair of the Authority; Cllr Byron Quayle was unanimously elected as vice-Chair; Cllr Bob Jones was re-elected as Chair of the Finance and Governance Committee and Cllr Brian Mattock was unanimously elected as vice-Chair of the Finance and Governance Committee

Cllr Knox said: “I am very honoured to have been elected as Chair of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority. We have responsibility for a truly excellent fire and rescue service, and I know I speak for my fellow elected Members when I say how proud we are of our workforce. I am sure that we will continue to deliver great results across our prevention, protection and emergency response activities over the coming year.”

Members of the Strategic Leadership Team also reported the Annual Service Performance Review to the Authority. The report shows how the Service is performing against its priorities and targets set by the Authority through the Community Safety Plan. The performance review shows that the Service has delivered over 11,500 Safe and Well visits to high risk homes in 2018-19, as well as educating over 40,000 children through its education initiatives and partnerships. The Service also conducted almost 1,200 fire safety audits of commercial premises and had over 1,100 positive engagements with businesses. Almost 15,000 emergency incidents were attended in the same period, with 87 people rescued from fires and 328 rescued from road traffic collisions.

Chief Fire Officer, Ben Ansell said: “The Strategic Leadership Team and I are very pleased with the performance of the Service. Whilst we continue to operate in challenging financial climate, with difficult decisions to be made, our fantastic staff are key to ensuring we keep our communities safe, whether at home, at work or on our roads. This annual performance summary shows the benefits of our combination in both the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.  I look forward to working with Cllr Knox and our new Fire Authority over the coming year to ensure we build on and continue this excellent work.”


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