A forward thinking Fire and Rescue Service: this year's local Government Association annual conference held on March 14-15 in Runcorn, brought wide debate about community cohesion, modernisation and the role of the forward thinking Fire Service.(LGA Conference)

THIS YEAR'S FIRE CONFERENCE encompassed a programme looking at how the Fire and Rescue Service can build on its strengths and work with other agencies to deliver even better results for communities.

The conference opening was provided by Councillor Les Byrom, Chair of the LGA Fire Services Management Committee.

Cllr Byrom remarked about the good work "that is going on across the country to improve the service we offer to our communities."

He went on to state: "As I'm sure most of you will know, the LGA's strategic direction is now set by a series of cross-cutting boards, constituted of elected members. The Safer Communities Board, chaired by Cllr Bryony Rudkin, is now in place, and provides an excellent mechanism to ensure that we recognise and capitalise upon the role of fire authorities in making our communities safer places to live and work.

"But with the massive scale and rapid pace of change across the Service, it's important too that the LGA is able to make its voice heard at the highest level on the wide range of issues that are specific to fire: the establishment of regional control centres; new arrangements for procurement under FiReBuy; and the future development of Integrated Risk Management Plans, to name but three of the myriad examples with which we are all familiar. …

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