This month will see another significant step on the road to combination, with the first full meeting of the new Shadow Fire Authority on 23 June.
With just nine months before the new Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service comes into being, staff at both existing FRSs are busy developing structures, policies, procedures and systems.
Six workstreams have been established to direct this work, focusing on:
Workstream updates are presented to the Shadow Policy & Resources Committee (formerly the Joint Committee) following the Shadow Authority meeting on 23 June). Click here to view the papers.
Click here to see the Shadow Authority papers for 23 June.
Dorset and Wiltshire & Swindon Fire Authorities have successfully gained the support of the Secretary of State to combine and now start their one year journey in bringing together the two Fire & Rescue Services.
The combined Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service officially came into being in shadow status on 1 April 2015 and will replace the two existing Authorities on 1 April 2016. This combination will help to secure the future of the two Services and the continued safety of the public in the two counties. Click here for the latest news release.
As the two Services start to come together, they will be focused on ensuring they maintain the professional emergency services for people living in, working in and travelling through Dorset and Wiltshire.
The current Chief Fire Officer of Dorset, Darran Gunter, has been appointed as Chief Fire Officer for the combined Service from April 2016 and, as designate for the next year, he will continue to work closely with Wiltshire's Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones and the Chairs of the two Authorities to build a strong, safe and sustainable Fire & Rescue Service.
Path to combination
The decision to merge the two organisations was made unanimously by Dorset Fire Authority and Wiltshire & Swindon Combined Fire Authority at meetings in November 2014.
The Combination Order was submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government just before Christmas 2014.
On 26 February 2015, a selection process led to Darran Gunter (currently CFO of Dorset) being named as CFO Designate for the new Service – click here for more.
See also: Government funding of £5.54 million to support the combination – click here for news release
Decision to merge – made on 11 November 2014