leehowellDevon & Somerset FRS Chief Lee Howell has said his new role as the Welsh Government's Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser and Inspector will offer benefits to both his current service and those across the border.

Commenting on his new position, CFO Howell said: "I am delighted to have been appointed to this post which I will undertake in addition to my role as Chief Fire Officer for Devon and Somerset. This additional work will bring in £40,000 income into to Devon & Somerset at a time and all Fire Services are having to do more with less, including the way we deploy our senior officers.

"Public sector organisations sharing chief executives and senior officers is not unusual in local government and, indeed, has been encouraged in Sir Ken Knight's Review of Fire & Rescue Services nationally.

Fresh perspective to the role
The DSFRS chief will take up his consultancy role in Wales on a two-day-a-week basis as part of an agreement with between the Welsh Government and the Service.

After announcing the appointment, Welsh Minister for Local Government, Lesley Griffiths said: "Lee brings with him a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills needed to undertake the post and will continue to hold his post as Chief Fire Officer.

"I believe that this will give a fresh perspective to the Adviser role, providing the opportunity to share and learn from each other and across borders. As a serving Chief, Lee will understand the need to deliver effective services during these times of challenging budget cuts." 

Balance service & external commitments
CFO Howell told FIRE: "From personal experience, I formed part of the Presidential team for CFOA, including holding the role as President in 2011/12, which required me to balance Service and external national commitments so I'm fully aware of the need to balance workload and demands and am confident that I will be able to do both roles effectively.

"I am supported by some absolutely exceptional senior managers and staff as together we continue to deal with the financial pressures by thinking and operating differently. This will be key to our future success."