West Yorkshire today became the first fire and rescue authority to be awarded a national accolade for its equality and diversity work. The authority was the first to pilot the highest level of the Fire and Rescue Services Equality Framework.


Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said: "Although an inspection team from the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency interviewed and challenged managers from all directorates they also, and more importantly, interviewed staff from across the organisation, including those on wholetime and retained stations and in community fire safety.


"I would like to thank everyone for the tremendous commitment and support they show on a daily basis, and whose efforts have now earned the national recognition it deserves."


West Yorkshire Authority Chair, Councillor David Ridgway said: "The real significance of reaching the 'excellence' standard is not that we champion equality and diversity by ticking boxes about the way we recruit, train and evaluate what we do, it's about the fact that we respect and work with our diverse communities to improve the way we deliver local services. It's part of core business."