Welsh Fire Authorities leading the Collaboration Agenda

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The three Welsh Fire Authorities in Walesdemonstrated their commitment to the Welsh Government's agenda for improved collaborative working at the All Wales Fire & Rescue Authority Member Development Conference in South Wales FRS Headquarters, Llantrisant on the 12th October 2012.

All three fire and rescue authorities inWaleshave one common objective which is at the heart of everything they do - to work together for a saferWales. The purpose of the biennial conference is to ensure that Elected Members of the Fire Authorities are informed and engaged on national and local issues. The focus of the 2012 Member development conference was the progress being made by the newly established National Issues Committee, which was purposely created to deliver measureable improvements, including greater efficiency and a more citizen focused service which meets the needs of our local communities.

The programme of speakers included Mr Michael Mousdale, from Trowers & Hamlins Solicitors who spoke about the WLGA Publication: Legal Guidance for Collaboration, the Welsh Chief Officers from each Fire & Rescue Service gave presentations on collaboration in action which included collaborative procurement, training & development and human resource functions. Group Manager, Stephen Rossiter, Project Co-ordinator for the National Issues Committee outlined the forward work plan for collaboration for the next 12 months.

The conference was organised by Mid & West Wales FRS and held at South Wales FRS headquarters in Llantrisant.

Councillor Roy Llewellyn, Chair of Mid & WestWalesFire Authority said:

"The commitment of the three Welsh Fire Authorities to build and improve on existing collaboration has certainly been demonstrated today, and the work of the National Issues Committee in driving forward the Welsh Government's public service improvement agenda is both exciting and innovative"

Councillor Tudor Davies Chair of South Wales Fire Authority and Chair of the National Issues Committee said:

"Our priority is to further improve collaborative working, service delivery and sustained service improvement for the benefit ofWales, the progress that has been made already in closer collaboration shows that we are leading the collaboration agenda"

Richard Smith, Chief Fire Officer at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We already collaborate on a day to day basis - but now we are looking at more than the intersection of common goals, rather we wish to establish a deep, collective determination to reach an identical objective which will stand us in good stead for the long term."

Huw Jakeway, Chief Fire Officer at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Collaboration takes a high degree of commitment which involves sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus, and to be successful, it requires strong leadership from the very top of organisations. That is the whole ethos behind this new National Issues Committee."

Simon Smith, Chief Fire Officer at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The importance of working together has never been higher on the public sector agenda than it is at present. Over the next few years, public-sector organisations like ours face the challenge of even more difficult economic choices. We are mindful of the advantages that collaboration can bring - in particular, in terms of working together to obtain improved resources, recognition and reward when facing times of finite resources."

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