Partnerships and community engagement

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Promoting Fire Safety      

The first Community Safety Open Day was held at Bridgnorth Fire Station in September 2006.

Pictured left to right are organisers District Officer Jim Quinn, Tracey Johnson, of Bridgnorth District Community Safety Partnership; Barry Smith, Safety Camera Partnership and Daphne Simmons, Community Council of Shropshire.

The government’s vision for neighbourhood renewal is that within 10-12 years no-one should be seriously disadvantaged by where they live.

To achieve this all elements of regeneration must be prioritised; economic prosperity, safer communities, higher quality education, decent safe housing and better health services. If the geographic area covered by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is to be successful in tackling these issues it is clear that effective partnership working and sound community engagement is necessary.

Recognising that fire and rescue authorities have a significant part to play in all the government’s fight against disadvantage, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has been a key player in partnerships for many years. More recently we have become much more focused on the most efficient and effective partnerships thus allowing us to see our limited resources in a more productive manner.

Following our detailed environmental analysis in 2005 it was identified that we needed to be local in the way we delivered our protection and prevention services. Learning from the engagement of our retained duty staff with their local communities, we have introduced a process of localising our services to secure further focused improvements in service delivery. Mirroring our partners’ approaches to this we have started devolving delivery and management of community safety to smaller ‘cluster’ areas in Shrewsbury and Telford.

In striving to secure maximum benefits from the local engagement of Fire Authority Members we have also set up a Local Liaison Panel which enables Members in every constituent authority and local borough and district council to have regular communication with their local Group Manager and frequent joint meetings to discuss local issues with Executive Brigade Management. Additionally, we are joining with our colleagues in the Police on the ‘Partners and Community Together Meetings’ to further this localism theme. However, as has been found throughout local government it will take some time to increase local engagement.

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