Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service
Email us: Democratic.Services@bedsfire.gov.uk
Tel: 01234 845000
Fax: 01234 845035
The Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Authority (the Authority) is
the independent body which ensures that the local fire and rescue
service performs efficiently and in the best interests of the
public and community it serves. This means that the fire and rescue
service is answerable for its actions and performance to the
general public. To contribute towards the costs of its services,
the Authority collects funding from each local council via a
precept. This is the portion of Council Tax allocated to this fire
and rescue service.
The Authority has core functions which are set down in the
and Rescue Services Act 2004, these include Fire Safety advice,
Collaboration with other agencies, developing and publishing
emergency plans, compliance with statutory legislation, attending
emergencies (including Road Traffic Collisions, extinguishing fires
and protecting life).
The Authority is made up of councillors (“Members”)
appointed to it by its three constituent authorities, namely:
Once appointed to the Authority, Members represent the community
as a whole, not just the area they serve as a local councillor.
They serve as a valuable link between communities and the fire and
rescue service. Members are collectively responsible for setting
the overall strategic direction of the organisation, including the
setting of its budget, promoting its core values and ensuring that
the fire and rescue service is effective, efficient and provides
Value for Money.
The full Authority usually meets eight times a year and also has
two committees: the Executive Committee and the Audit and Standards Committee. Apart from attending the Authority meetings,
Members usually sit on one or other of the committees. Their numbers
are proportional to the populations they represent, with five
members from Central Bedfordshire Council, three members from
Bedford Borough Council and four members from Luton Borough
Council. They can also be asked to represent the Authority at a
local and regional level.
On 9 September 2010 the then Bedfordshire and Luton Combined
Fire Authority agreed to publish an annual Review of its
Effectiveness together with a Record of Members’
Attendance. Review of Effectiveness and their associated
Actions Plans are included in the Annual Governance Statement,
which forms part of the
Statement of Accounts. In 2019/20 Members decided that the annual review process was not required for that year and that the exercise would be completed again in 2020/21 as part of a wider Governance review including Member area leads. The Executive Member leads were appointed in September 2020 and a review will take place in spring/summer 2021.
The Combined Fire Authority (CFA) which was established on in 1
April 1997, now the Fire and Rescue Authority (FRA), had no
committees (except the Standards Committee). The CFA then agreed
and established from 29/07/2005 three Scrutiny Groups to provide
its Members with an in-depth understanding of key issues to ensure
they could challenge management activity and outcomes, and
scrutinise and provide input into the Authority's strategic
From 2010/11, the Combined Fire Authority (CFA) replaced its
former three Scrutiny Groups - Performance Achievement, Community
Risk Management and Human Resources - with three Policy and Challenge Groups.
From 1 July 2012, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, this
Committee was discontinued and the standards function included in
the Audit Committee, which was renamed the Audit and Standards Committee.
Following a Governance Review, the Fire Authority resolved, at
its July 2019 meeting, to suspend the three Policy and Challenge
Groups. The Audit and Standards Committee remains along with two
additional Fire Authority meetings being added to the Calendar of Meetings in September
The Fire Authority reviewed these arrangements in
September 2020 and will continue with the current structure. In addition, each member of the Executive Committee will have a special responsibility for the following portfolios: