New fire chief named as swift improvement is demanded

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 August 2017

Avon Fire & Rescue Service needs new leadership, according to a Home Office-commissioned inspector.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service needs new leadership, according to a Home Office-commissioned inspector.

Archant

An interim Chief Fire Officer has been appointed at Avon Fire & Rescue Service after its previous chief was suspended in the wake of a damning report into the service’s leadership.

Fire authority chairman Don Davies is demanding swift improvements.Fire authority chairman Don Davies is demanding swift improvements.

Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Kevin Pearson was suspended last week after a Home Office investigation –commissioned amid staff allegations of bullying and pay irregularities – called for a radical overhaul of senior positions.

Mr Pearson has since challenged the probe’s credibility, branding the report ‘a stitch-up’ and ‘a witch hunt’, while also suggesting it had been politically motivated by people who want to see the fire service run by a Police and Crime Commissioner instead.

However, Mick Crennell of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has this week been handed a six-month contract to serve as Avon’s interim chief – and has been charged with making immediate improvements.

Avon Fire Authority chairman Donald Davies, who was appointed just two months ago, said: “When the Home Office report was published last month I asked that we are judged by our actions, not just our words.

“Just three weeks on we are already working to an approved action plan and have an interim Chief Fire Officer in place who will lead the changes we need to make in the immediate future.

“We will not undo the mistakes of the past in a single stroke, but through the positive action we’re now taking we have started that journey to improvement.

“I’ve already had a number of meetings with CFO Crennell and I’m confident he has the skills and leadership qualities the service needs at this moment.”

Speaking following his appointment, CFO Crennell said he understood the importance of making swift improvements, but urged the public not to let recent events shake their confidence in the service and its personnel.

He said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join this proud service at such a critical time.

“The past few weeks will have been both disappointing and unsettling for the public and staff; as someone new and independent to the service it will be my role to restore that trust and confidence.

“While I don’t underestimate the task that lies ahead, having already spent a few days in the service I know there are many excellent uniformed and support staff who are committed to making the changes that need to happen.

“Avon Fire & Rescue Service has always provided a fantastic emergency response service to local residents – that has never been called into question. The public can therefore continue to have the ultimate confidence in our blue light service should they ever need us.”

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 19:41

Police have cordoned off Worle Railway Station for an ongoing police incident this evening (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

Fans of Abba and Grease can enjoy two hours of their greatest hits at The Playhouse on November 29.

Read more
The Playhouse Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 16:57

Life satisfaction and happiness levels have dropped in North Somerset in the past year, according to research from the Office for National Statistics.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:06

A ‘spectacular’ firework display will take place on Marine Parade on Saturday.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:14

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has reassured people a teenager did not die in Worle last night (Wednesday) after rumours circulated on social media.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:04

Weston-super-Mare’s first balloon launch and ‘night glow’ which was due to take place on Saturday, has been postponed due to poor weather conditions.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

Future bids for fracking to take place across North Somerset should be decided by the authority and not the Government, according to councillors.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:37

A woman has been injured after colliding with a car in Weston this morning (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 08:58

A Priory Community School (PCSA) teacher has been cooking up tasty treats on a national cooking television programme.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:56

An accident involving two cars in Worle has resulted in slow moving traffic this morning (Thursday).

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists