Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Thought provoking conference declared a success

This year's Combined Fire Authorities Conference has proved a success, with more than 80 delegates from across the UK turning up to the event in Bedfordshire.

Organised by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, speakers included Brandon Lewis MP, Fire Minister, who spoke of his vision for the future of the Fire and Rescue Service and his main objectives towards achieving it.

Jason Thelwell – Chief Operating Officer Buckinghamshire FRS and Susan Johnson – Chief Executive Durham & Darlington FRS tackled the tough issues of council tax and funding respectively.

Emma Wright – the Head of Population Analysis Office for National Statistics - gave an insight into the challenges being presented by an ageing population, highlighting the impact on fire and rescue services

Councillor Royston Smith, Chair of Hampshire FRS and Dave Curry – Director of Service Delivery gave a CFA's perspective on Creating and managing a trading arm.

There was also a lively Question Panel involving CFO Paul Fuller Bedfordshire FRS and CFOA President, Cllr Kay Hammond Chair of Fire Services Management Committee, Cllr Mark Healey Chair of Devon & Somerset FRS, CFO John Bonney  Hampshire FRS and Cllr Stuart West Chair of Shropshire FRS before Cllr David McVicar - Chairman of Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Authority - closed the event.

Attendees from East Sussex Fire Authority included Chairman, Phil Howson, Cllr Peter Pragnell, Cllr Ian Buchanan and Cllr Michael Wincott.

Cllr Buchanan said: “'I appreciated being invited to the conference and found it to be a most informative day. Thank you again.”

And Cllr Wincott added: “'I just want to say that I really enjoyed the conference, which was superbly organised, with good speakers, in a good location and good company. Thanks for looking after me.”

East Sussex Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said "I would like to thank everyone who came and helped make this event a success. There is a huge amount to be learnt from sharing our experiences and knowledge in this way. None of us underestimate the challenges ahead - but events like this provide us with a vital opportunity to work together."

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