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Combined Fire Authority

Wiltshire and Swindon Combined Fire Authority (CFA) acts as the overall governing body for the Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) and has 13 Members - nine from Wiltshire Council and four from Swindon Borough Council - who are appointed annually.

The proportion of Members is on the basis of the numbers of electors in each of the constituent areas.

The Fire Authority's statutory core functions are laid down in the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 and are to:

  • promote fire safety in its area;
  • extinguish fires and protect life and property from fire;
  • deal with road traffic collisions and the rescue of trapped persons; and
  • deal with other types of emergencies as designated by order from the Secretary of State.

The CFA has a statutory duty to provide the financial and other resources necessary to ensure an efficient and effective service. To this end, the Members set an annual budget after considering professional advice on the level of resources required.

In addition to overseeing the Service’s finances, the CFA considers any new policy initiatives; these are often required or suggested by national government but can be of a more local nature. Members also have a legal duty to monitor the operational performance of the FRS and consider best practice, and this is done through workstreams and committees, as well as the full CFA.

The Authority has three workstreams, which oversee the Service’s day to day work - People & Development, Operational Delivery, and Governance & Assurance.

Specific areas of the business are managed via committees. These are:

  • Programme & Scrutiny Board
  • Finance Review & Audit
  • Ethics
  • Staffing
  • Urgency
  • Appeal

The Ethics committee monitors the Members’ Code of Conduct and also includes two lay people.

Member Champions take a particular interest in a policy area, and there are champions for equality & diversity, data, climate change/carbon footprint, and Community Infrastructure Levy.

Meetings of the Combined Fire Authority are held four times a year, usually at the Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service Training & Development Centre on the Hopton Industrial Estate in Devizes. The main part of the meeting is open to the press and public; however, there may be occasions when press and public will be excluded for the last part of the proceedings if confidential items are discussed.

See also:

Expenses paid to or incurred by Members of the CFA