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Annual Statement of Assurance 2021 - 2022

Introduction

Welcome to our Statement of Assurance

The Fire and Rescue National Framework for England requires us to report on our progress against our Strategic Plan every year.

We do this through our Annual Statement of Assurance. This informs the public and our stakeholders of our performance over the last 12 months.

Our Strategic Plan 2019-2022 was launched in April 2019 following a public consultation and outlined how we planned to deliver on our vision of creating safer communities.

This year’s Statement is the last in the series which relates to that Strategic Plan, before we begin a new cycle following the launch of our Community Risk Management Plan 2022-2025 in April 2022.

During year three of our plan, we have prioritised work to:

  • Restore our full range of community safety activities following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Complete significant buildings projects, including a new fire station
  • Continue our work with partners to reduce the risks to people and property
  • Continue to promote inclusion, diversity and equality both within the Service and in our engagement with communities
  • Develop a plan for 2022-2025 that defines our ambition for the Service and our strategic goals for the next three years

You can read more about the service we have provided and the achievements listed in this Statement of Assurance by following the links to other published documents on our website and the Fire Authority web pages.

Fire and rescue authorities must provide annual assurance on financial, governance and operational matters and show how they have had due regard to the expectations set out in their integrated risk management plan and the requirements included in the Framework. To provide assurance, fire and rescue authorities must publish an annual statement of assurance.
Logo for the Department for Communities and Local Government
Councilor Michael Payne (Chair of the Combined Fire Authority) and Chief Fire Officer Craig Parkin

This Annual Statement of Assurance brings to a close the delivery of our Strategic Plan 2019-2022. Over the last three years we have completed a wide range of projects which have improved our core services, produced substantial financial savings, and resulted in significant changes to our Service. They include strategic collaborations, with Derbyshire FRS to create a Joint Fire Control for our two services, and with Nottinghamshire Police with whom we now share a joint headquarters. We’ve built two new fire stations and have made many improvements to our ways of working to improve our productivity and efficiency. We now deliver more than double the number of Safe and Well visits a year compared to the start of this plan period, helping many more people reduce their risk of fire in their homes.

We have achieved all this against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic, which has dominated the last two years. I am incredibly proud of the way our staff have stepped up to provide additional support to our communities and colleagues in the NHS to meet the challenges of the pandemic alongside maintaining an effective emergency response.

Thankfully, the last twelve months have had a more familiar feel, and we have been able to fully restore our services back to pre-pandemic levels.

We welcomed an inspection team from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Fire and Rescue Services last October, when we were able to demonstrate the improvements we have made since our last full inspection in 2019. We are awaiting the report of their findings. We are optimistic that this will recognise the achievements and hard work of our staff.

This year has also seen a focus on planning for the future with the development of our new 3-year Community Risk Management Plan. This sets out our long-term ambition to be one of the best fire and rescue services in England by 2030, with a continued focus on preventing incidents, protecting you and responding when you need us.

As we enter this next phase of our journey, we say farewell to John Buckley, who has retired as Chief Fire Officer after 26 years of service. I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Fire Authority, to thank John and all our staff for their considerable efforts during the last year and to welcome Craig Parkin as our new Chief Fire Officer.

Signature of Councillor Michael Payne (Chair of the Combined Fire Authority)
Cllr Michael Payne, Chair of the Fire Authority