Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting DEVON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Fire chief must choose one job or the other
1:21pm Friday 30th August 2013 in News
Devon and Somerset Fire Chief Lee Howell must be given a straight choice between a full-time role in Devon and Somerset and a position in Wales, firefighters have said.
Howell’s new position as part-time fire advisor to the Welsh Government was revealed earlier last month, but the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority – the group of councillors to whom the service is accountable – have since said they did not agree to Howell working part-time.
Devon and Somerset Fire Brigades Union Brigade Secretary Trevor French said: “The public and fire crews of Devon and Somerset deserve a full-time fire chief; especially at a time when the service appears to be spiralling out of control.
“For the sake of fire safety here and in Wales, the authority must make sure the service has full-time leadership, particularly in a time of such extensive and dangerous cuts.
“It’s time for Mr Howell to choose: either he works to improve the safety of Devon and Somerset, or that of Wales. Doing both is not fair on anyone and cannot be an option.”
Mr French also said that the fire authority must answer three key questions: Have much has the fire authority reduced the CFO’s salary by in recognition of his reduction to part-time status?
If the fire authority hasn’t reduced his salary, does the £44,000 a year Howell will receive from the Welsh Government equate as replacement pay for the time spent away from Devon and Somerset?
If the chair of the authority believes his new role would only involve “making the odd phone call” in his own time, does the fact that it will be two days a week change his position?
Cllr Mark Healy, chair of the authority, said earlier in the week that Howell’s Welsh role would involve him “making the odd phone call” – although the new role involves two days a week work.
Healy also accused firefighters with part-time jobs of ‘double standards’ for criticising Howell.
The average national starting salary for a firefighter is £21,157 compared to the £138,636 paid to Howell for the 2011/12 year.
Comments are closed on this article.