'Great opportunity' for Fire Service leaders: just as CFOA has repositioned itself to be at the forefront of the modernization movement, according to Hampshire chief John Bonney there is now an opportunity to continue that momentum and provide the leadership and direction the Service requires.(Hampshire)

IT WAS ONLY FOUR OR FIVE YEARS ago that at Fire Conference the MC asked delegates who is leading the Fire Service, Hampshire CFO John Bonney recalls. "No-one from CFOA put their hand up." In fact, no-one put their hand up.

"Since then CFOA has carved out a position, one that is not just part of the establishment."

This position is crucial following the re-structure, where "a vacuum has opened up" following the move to the DCLG, he suggests. "It is an opportunity for CFOA to lead and be robust with central government." To that end he points to ACPO's often critical stance. Given CFOA's relatively recent expansion of responsibilities, it is hardly surprising there has not been more challenges. The union may disagree.

Whatever the stance, John maintains there should be clarity on every position, from every member. "If you asked me about CFOA policy, I would be very clear. …

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