Fire and Rescue

The Staffordshire Commissioner became responsible for the governance of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service, in addition to his existing role overseeing Staffordshire Police, from August 1, 2018.

Fire & Rescue Banner

The Commissioner made it clear from the outset the move would not affect frontline operations at the fire and rescue service, but it would bring the opportunity to further improve the way police and fire work together.

Staffordshire is a large and diverse county and it’s important the future for both services is financially more secure with a period of stability to get on with the difficult jobs they do.

In much the same way as he does with police, the Commissioner is responsible for delivering the strategic vision and holding the Chief Fire Officer to account in delivering that vision.

He has oversight and applies scrutiny and in turn the Police, Fire and Crime Panel reviews and scrutinises publicly his decisions – an important check and balance in the system.

The Staffordshire Commissioner also handles complaints and conduct matters in relation to the Chief Fire Officer.

He will receive all funding, including the government grant, and other sources of income related to fire and rescue services. But it’s important to note both Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service remain separate organisations with separate budgets, staff and governance processes.

Public Meeting Minutes

The former Fire and Rescue Authority ceased to exist from August 1, but if you want to look at any of the minutes from their public meetings or historic information, please click here

We hope this gives you a good overview of the main role the Commissioner has in relation to the fire and rescue service, but here’s the important legal stuff you need to know…

Role of Staffordshire Commissioner

The Staffordshire Commissioner has all the responsibilities provided to them by section 4A of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire (Fire and Rescue Authority) Order 2018.

The Staffordshire Commissioner must put in place arrangements to deliver an efficient and effective fire and rescue service and perform the following key functions:

  • Promote fire safety (section 6 of the FRS Act 2004)
  • Provision for the purpose of extinguishing fires and protecting life and property in the event of fires (section 7 of the FRS Act 2004)
  • Rescue people and protect people from serious harm in the event of road traffic accidents (section 8 of the FRS Act 2004)
  • Duty to assess plan and to advise on civil emergencies (section 2 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004)
  • Enforce the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

 

The Staffordshire Commissioner is the legal contracting body, who owns all the assets and liabilities, and with responsibility for the financial administration of their office and the Fire and Rescue Fund, including all borrowing.

The Staffordshire Commissioner will receive all funding, including the government grant, and other sources of income related to fire and rescue services.

The Staffordshire Commissioner will set the precept in consultation with the Head of Paid Service, or in accordance with any grant terms.

In order to support effective decision making and to drive continuous improvement across Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service, the Commissioner has set up a number of boards. These boards will support him and ensure that he has the right guidance, support and advice from the right people when decisions need to be made.

Both the police and fire and rescue service remain separate organisations with separate budgets, staff and governance processes.

If the Commissioner wishes to take a decision that will impact both organisations, he will need to take two separate decisions, one in relation to policing and one in relation to fire and rescue. The Commissioner is the decision maker, although he can delegate certain decisions, but he will take all key decisions supported by the debate and guidance provided by his boards.

  • Strategic Governance Board (SGB)

    The SGB has been established to enable the Commissioner to provide strategic management and oversight in line with his fire and rescue authority responsibilities.

    The board will advise the Commissioner when making key decisions that they are required to take. In addition, the board has a number of specific areas of responsibility, which are:

    • Develop and approve strategic priorities and the fire and rescue plan
    • Develop and approve the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP)
    • Receive and approve the fire and rescue statement
    • Provide governance and oversight of the transformation programme
    • Development strategic budget setting and development of the precept
    • Provide strategic oversight of the Medium-term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and the Capital programme.
  • Performance and Assurance Board (PAB)

    The PAB is accountable to the Staffordshire Commissioner for reporting on the strategic and operational performance management of the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
  • Fire and Rescue Audit

    The statutory audit committee function is carried out by the Ethics, Transparency & Audit Panel (ETAP)
  • Explaining Decisions

    The Commissioner wants decision-making to be transparent, therefore whenever he takes a key decision he will publish the reasons for that decision and any supporting reports or evidence that will help explain how it was taken.
  • Good Governance

    A governance framework exists that sets out how the Commissioner and the fire and rescue service will be governed to do business in the right way, for the right reason at the right time.

    The corporate governance framework consists of:

    • Statement of corporate governance – sets out the statutory framework and local policy
    • Code of corporate governance – sets out how the core principles will be implemented
    • Scheme of corporate governance – defines the parameters within which the organisations will conduct their business