Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government
I am pleased to inform members of the appointment of the new Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser for Wales, Dan Stephens.
The Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser has a vital role in assisting the Welsh Ministers and officials on matters of operational preparedness, performance, structure and organisation of the three Fire and Rescue Authorities in Wales. The Chief Adviser is also legally responsible for inspecting fire safety in all non-military Crown premises in Wales, and is appointed to that role by Her Majesty in Council under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004.
Dan took up his duties as Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser on 12 November, and the Privy Council yesterday made the Order in Council conferring on him the status of Inspector. Dan brings a wealth of experience to the role. He has 30 years’ experience in the Fire and Rescue Service and has held the post of Chief Fire Officer of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority and Chief Officer/Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade, in Australia. I look forward to working with him.
Among Dan’s immediate priorities will be to ensure we and our Fire and Rescue Services learn the lessons from Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry. While many of the Inquiry’s recommendations are addressed to the London Fire Brigade, they apply equally to all other Fire and Rescue Services. I have asked Dan to work with our Chief Fire Officers to provide full assurance that those recommendations are being promptly and effectively addressed.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.