New Avon Fire Authority to be formed following report

Image caption,
Local leaders said said a new "reduced" fire authority would be formed

A new Avon Fire Authority is to be formed following a critical report into the way the current authority is run.

A Home Office report published last week unearthed an "old boys club" culture and called for reforms to leadership.

Local authority leaders met with the area's Police and Crime Commissioner earlier to discuss the report.

They called for a "radical restructure" and said a new "reduced" fire authority would be formed.

The deputy mayor of Bristol, Councillor Asher Craig, Bath and North East Somerset (Banes) leader Councillor Tim Warren, North Somerset leader Councillor Nigel Ashton, South Gloucestershire leader Councillor Matthew Riddle and Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens met to discuss the findings.

'Radical restructure'

Following the meeting they issued a joint statement, which said the response to the report by the current fire authority "does not address the failings and therefore we are not convinced that the fire authority can fix itself".

They added: "As leaders we have a responsibility to our residents to ensure that the issues identified in this report are put right.

"We believe this can only be done with a radical restructure.

"We will form a new reduced fire authority in line with the report's recommendations with the Police and Crime Commissioner."

They added they would talk to the Home Office "about our choices and seeking advice about future arrangements".

The Home Office report published last week said leadership of the authority was undermining its duties to the public and should be replaced.

It also found there was a perception that bullying and harassment was "endemic".

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