County fires falling

Re-elected chair Stuart West

The numbers of fires, road crashes and accidents in the home have been successfully reduced through fire officers working with other agencies, said the newly re-elected chairman of Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority.

Councillor Stuart West, who was unanimously re-elected by members at the authority's annual meeting, said he was "extremely proud" to lead the fire authority which had one of the top performing fire and rescue services in the UK.

They were absolutely committed to achieving their vision of 'A safer Shropshire' and would continue their good work to serve the communities of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to save life and protect property and the environment, he said.

"It is a privilege to serve as Chair of the Fire Authority. Throughout 2008/09 we have continued to build and develop targeted partnerships at a local, regional and international level. These have assisted in delivering many new and innovative initiatives which have forced down the number of fires, road traffic collisions and accidents within the home.

"We cannot, however, become complacent. Despite the Service's sustained commitment, sadly deaths do still occur as a result of fire in the home and on Shropshire's roads. Protection of vulnerable groups in our communities and reduction of risk are key priorities for the Fire Authority during the coming year.

"In order to achieve these priorities we shall continue to work with our existing partners and we shall build new partnerships, where demonstrable benefits to the community can be achieved," said Councillor West, who has headed the fire authority since 2007.

Councillor David Minnery, who was appointed Vice-Chair, said they would continue to make improvements to the service while also considering how to drive down costs through efficiency savings.

Appointed to the Fire Authority in 2005, Councillor Minnery has chaired the Integrated Risk Management Planning Members' Working Group since 2007 which considers the risks to life and property in the county and how the Fire Authority's resources can best be deployed to minimise the risk. Their work was praised by the Audit Commission as best practice in the country.

"I am very pleased to have been appointed Vice-Chair of the Fire Authority and to be associated with a Fire and Rescue Service, which is performing strongly."

17th July, 2009