Building regulations in the United Kingdom
Building regulations in the United Kingdom are statutory instruments that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out. Building regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK. Building regulations that apply across England and Wales are set out in the Building Act 1984 while those that apply across Scotland are set out in the Building Act 2003; the Act in England and Wales permits detailed regulations to be made by the Secretary of State. The regulations made under the Act have been periodically updated, rewritten or consolidated, with the latest and current version being the Building Regulations 2010; the UK Government is responsible for the relevant legislation and administration in England, the Welsh Government is the responsible body in Wales, the Scottish Government is responsible for the issue in Scotland, the Northern Ireland Executive has responsibility within its jurisdiction. There are similar Building Regulations in the Republic of Ireland.
The detailed requirements of Building regulations in England are scheduled within 16 separate headings, each designated by a letter, covering aspects such as "workmanship", "adequate materials", "structure", "waterproofing" & "weatherisation", "fire safety" & "means of escape", "sound isolation", "ventilation", "safe water", "protection from falling", "drainage", "sanitary facilities", "accessible access" & "facilities for the disabled", "electrical safety", "security of a building","high speed broadband infrastructure", so on. For each Part, detailed specifications are available free online describing the matters to be taken into account; the approved documents are not legally binding in how the requirements must be met. The use of appropriate British Standards and/or European Standards is accepted as one way of complying with the Building Regulations requirements. However, the supply of gas is not controlled by the Building Regulations, as there are separate Gas Safety Regulations enforced by the Health and Safety Executive HSE).
Newer versions of Building Regulations are not retrospective, they are applied to each new change or modification to a building but do not require renovation of existing elements. There are general requirements for any change or improvement, that the building must not be left any less satisfactory in compliance than before the works, areas worked on must not be left in unsafe condition by reference to current standards; the Regulations may specify in some cases, that when enough work is done in an area the remainder of that area must be brought to an appropriate standard, however the standard required for an existing building may be less stringent than that required for a new building. The Regulations specify, that some types of work must be undertaken by an appropriate qualified professional, or must be notified to the relevant local authority's Building regulations approval for certification or approval. However, it should be remembered that the Building regulations are separate and distinct from'Town Planning' and'planning permission'.
Therefore, both must be considered. From 1 January 2005 the term building work includes work on household electrics; the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006 made provision for microgeneration to be brought within the Building Regulations, increased to two years the time limit for prosecuting contraventions of the regulations relating to energy use, energy conservation or carbon emissions. It requires the Secretary of State to report on compliance with these aspects of the Building Regulations and steps proposed to increase compliance. However, no such regulations have been laid. From 6 April 2006, the Building Regulations are extended by amendments to incorporate some of the European Directives requiring energy in existing and new buildings to be measured, etc; the core term building work was once again amended and extended in scope to include renovation of thermal elements, energy used by space cooling systems as well as energy used by space heating systems. Both are now subject to efficiency limits, energy use controls are required.
New additional competent persons schemes were proposed and authorised, in respect of energy systems and energy efficient design. A total rewrite of Approved Document for Part P was issued in 2006. New Approved Documents for Part F and Part L were issued along with specified'second tier' guidance documents was issued in 2006. A total rewrite of the Building Regulations was issued in 2010. However, this has since been amended several times again, in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2016. A total rewrite of Approved Document for Part K was issued in 2012/2013; this new Part K now incorporates all that once was within Part N comes into force, on 1.10.15.. 2015 - Part Q comes into force, on 1.10.15. 2017 - Part R ("High Speed Broadband I
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
Fire services in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland. Emergency cover is provided by over fifty agencies; these are known as a fire and rescue service, the term used in modern legislation and by government departments. The older terms of fire brigade and fire service survive in informal usage and in the names of a few organisations. England and Wales have local fire services which are each overseen by a fire authority, made up of representatives of local governments. Fire authorities have the power to raise a Council Tax levy for funding, with the remainder coming from the government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire services, so their authorities are committees of the devolved parliaments; the total budget for fire services in 2014-15 was £2.9 billion. Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, created in 2007, while Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services provides direct oversight.
The devolved government in Scotland has HMFSI Scotland. Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers are members of the National Fire Chiefs Council, which has some role in national co-ordination; the fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process, propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. See separate article History of fire safety legislation in the United Kingdom Comprehensive list of recent UK fire and rescue service legislation: Fire services are established and granted their powers under new legislation which has replaced a number of Acts of Parliament dating back more than 60 years, but is still undergoing change. 1938: Fire Brigades Act 1938. This Act provided for centralised co-ordination of fire brigades in Great Britain and made it mandatory for local authorities to arrange an effective fire service.
1947: Fire Services Act 1947 This Act transferred the functions of the National Fire Service to local authorities. Now repealed in England and Wales by Schedule 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. 1959: Fire Services Act 1959 This Act amended the 1947 Act. It was repealed in Wales along with the 1947 Act. 1999: Greater London Authority Act 1999 This act was necessary to allow for the formation of the Greater London Authority and in turn the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2002, there was a series of national fire strikes, with much of the discontent caused by the aforementioned report into the fire service conducted by Prof Sir George Bain. In December 2002, the Independent Review of the Fire Service was published with the industrial action still ongoing. Bain's report led to a change in the laws relating to firefighting. 2002: Independent Review of the Fire Service published 2004: Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 only applying to England and Wales. 2006: The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 This piece of secondary legislation or statutory instrument replaces several other acts that dealt with fire precautions and fire safety in premises, including the now defunct process of issuing fire certificates.
It came into force on 1 October 2006. The DfCLG has published a set of guides for non-domestic premises: 2006: The Government of Wales Act 2006 gave the National Assembly for Wales powers to pass laws on "Fire and rescue services. Promotion of fire safety otherwise than by prohibition or regulation." But does not prevent future legislation being passed by the UK government which applies to two or more constituent countries. There are further plans to modernise the fire service according to the Local Government Association, its website outlines future changes, specific projects: "The aim of the Fire Modernisation Programme is to adopt modern work practices within the Fire & Rescue Service to become more efficient and effective, while strengthening the contingency and resilience of the Service to react to incidents. " The fire service in England and Wales is scrutinised by a House of Commons select committee. In June 2006, the fire and rescue service select committee, under the auspices of the Communities and Local Government Committee, published its latest report.
Committee report The committee's brief is described on its website: The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government and its associated bodies. Government response This document, the subsequent government response in September 2006, are important as they outlined progress on the FiReControl, efforts to address diversity and the planned closure of HMFSI in 2007 among many issues. Both documents are interesting as they refer back to Professor Bain's report and the many recommendations it made and continue to put forward the notion that there is an ongoing need to modernise FRSs. For example, where FRSs were inspected by HMFSI, much of this work is now carried out by the National Audit Office. Fire Control On 8 February 2010 the House of Commons Communities and Local Governm
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
A playground, playpark, or play area is a place designed to enable children to play there. It is outdoors. While a playground is designed for children, some target other age groups. Berlin's Preußenpark for example is designed for people aged 70 or higher. A playground might exclude children below a certain age. Modern playgrounds have recreational equipment such as the seesaw, merry-go-round, slide, jungle gym, chin-up bars, spring rider, trapeze rings and mazes, many of which help children develop physical coordination and flexibility, as well as providing recreation and enjoyment and supporting social and emotional development. Common in modern playgrounds are play structures. Playgrounds also have facilities for playing informal games of adult sports, such as a baseball diamond, a skating arena, a basketball court, or a tether ball. Public playground equipment refers to equipment intended for use in the play areas of parks, childcare facilities, multiple family dwellings, restaurants and recreational developments, other areas of public use.
In some parts of the United States, the term tot lot may be used. A type of playground called a playscape is designed to provide a safe environment for play in a natural setting. Through history, children played in their villages and neighbourhoods in the streets and lanes near their homes. In the 19th century, developmental psychologists such as Friedrich Fröbel proposed playgrounds as a developmental aid, or to imbue children with a sense of fair play and good manners. In Germany, a few playgrounds were erected in connection to schools, the first purpose-built public-access playground was opened in a park in Manchester, England in 1859. However, it was only in the early 20th century, as the street lost its role as the default public space and became reserved for use by motor cars, that momentum built to remove children from the new dangers and confine them to segregated areas to play. In the United States, organisations such as the National Highway Protective Society highlighted the numbers killed by automobiles, urged the creation of playgrounds, aiming to free streets for vehicles rather than children's play.
The Outdoor Recreation League provided funds to erect playgrounds on parkland following the 1901 publication of a report on numbers of children being run down by cars in New York City. In tandem with the new concern about the danger of roads, educational theories of play, including by Herbert Spencer and John Dewey inspired the emergence of the reformist playground movement, which argued that playgrounds had educational value, improved attention in class, enhanced physical health, reduced truancy. Interventionist programs such as by the child savers sought to move children into controlled areas to limit'delinquency'. Meanwhile, at schools and settlement houses for poorer children with limited access to education, health services and daycare, playgrounds were included to support these institutions' goal of keeping children safe and out of trouble. One of the first playgrounds in the United States was built in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in 1887. In 1906 the Playground Association of America was founded and a year Luther Gulick became president.
It became the National Recreation Association and the National Recreation and Park Association. Urging the need for playgrounds, former President Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1907: City streets are unsatisfactory playgrounds for children because of the danger, because most good games are against the law, because they are too hot in summer, because in crowded sections of the city they are apt to be schools of crime. Neither do small back yards nor ornamental grass plots meet the needs of any but the small children. Older children who would play vigorous games must have places set aside for them; this means that they must be distributed over the cities in such a way as to be within walking distance of every boy and girl, as most children can not afford to pay carfare. In post war London the landscape architect and children's rights campaigner Lady Allen of Hurtwood introduced and popularised the concept of the ’junk playground’ - where the equipment was constructed from the recycled junk and rubble left over from the Blitz.
She campaigned for facilities for children growing up in the new high-rise developments in Britain's cities and wrote a series of illustrated books on the subject of playgrounds, at least one book on adventure playgrounds, spaces for free creativity by children, which helped the idea spread worldwide. Playgrounds were an integral part of urban culture in the USSR. In the 1970s and 1980s, there were playgrounds in every park in many Soviet cities. Playground apparatus was reasonably standard all over the country; some of the most common constructions were the carousel, seesaw, bridge, etc. Playground design is influenced by audience. Separate play areas might be offered to accommodate young children. Single, open parks tend to not to be used by older schoolgirls or less aggressive children, because there is little opportunity for them to escape more aggressive children. By contrast, a park that offers multiple play areas is used by boys and girls. Professionals recognize that the social skills that children develop on the playground become lifelong skill sets that are carried forward into their adulthood.
Independent research concludes that p
In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; the unit rolled out across England in the 1860s. A civil parish can range in size from a large town with a population of about 75,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. Eight parishes have city status. A civil parish may be known as and confirmed as a town, neighbourhood or community by resolution of its parish council, a right reserved not conferred on other units of English local government. 35% of the English population live in a civil parish. As of 31 December 2015 there were 10,449 parishes in England; the most populous is Weston super Mare and those with cathedral city status are Chichester, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury and Wells.
On 1 April 2014, Queen's Park became the first civil parish in Greater London. Before 2008 their creation was not permitted within a London borough. Wales was divided into civil parishes until 1974, when they were replaced by communities, which are similar to English parishes in the way they operate. Civil parishes in Scotland were abolished for local government purposes by the Local Government Act 1929, the Scottish equivalent of English civil parishes are community council areas, which were established by the Local Government Act 1973; the Parish system in Europe was established between the 8th and 12th centuries and in England was old by the time of the Conquest. These areas were based on the territory of one or more manors, areas which in some cases derived their bounds from Roman or Iron Age estates. Parish boundaries were conservative, changing little, after 1180'froze' so that boundaries could no longer be changed at all, despite changes to manorial landholdings - though there were some examples of sub-division.
The consistency of these boundaries, up until the 19th century is useful to historians, is of cultural significance in terms of shaping local identities, a factor reinforced by the adoption of parish boundaries unchanged, by successor local government units. There was huge variation in size between parishes, for instance Writtle in Essex was 13,568 acres while neighbouring Shellow Bowells was just 469 acres, Chignall Smealy 476 acres; until the break with Rome, parishes managed ecclesiastical matters, while the manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice. The church replaced the manor court as the rural administrative centre, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe. In the medieval period, responsibilities such as relief of the poor passed from the Lord of the Manor to the parish's rector, who in practice would delegate tasks among his vestry or the monasteries. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the power to levy a rate to fund relief of the poor was conferred on the parish authorities by the Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601.
Both before and after this optional social change, local charities are well-documented. The parish authorities were consisted of all the ratepayers of the parish; as the number of ratepayers of some parishes grew, it became difficult to convene meetings as an open vestry. In some built up, areas the select vestry took over responsibility from the entire body of ratepayers; this innovation allowed governance by a self-perpetuating elite. The administration of the parish system relied on the monopoly of the established English Church, which for a few years after Henry VIII alternated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, before settling on the latter on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. By the 18th century, religious membership was becoming more fractured in some places, due for instance to the progress of Methodism; the legitimacy of the parish vestry came into question and the perceived inefficiency and corruption inherent in the system became a source for concern in some places.
For this reason, during the early 19th century the parish progressively lost its powers to ad hoc boards and other organisations, for example the loss of responsibility for poor relief through the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Sanitary districts covered England in Ireland three years later; the replacement boards were each entitled to levy their own rate in the parish. The church rate ceased to be levied in many parishes and became voluntary from 1868; the ancient parishes diverged into two distinct, nearly overlapping, systems of parishes during the 19th century. The Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 declared all areas that levied a separate rate: C of E ecclesiastical parishes, extra-parochial areas and their analogue, chapelries, to be "civil parishes". To have collected rates this means these beforehand had their own vestries, boards or equivalent bodies; the Church of England parishes, which cover more than 99% of England, became termed "ecclesiastical parishes" and the boundaries of these soon diverged from those of the Ancient Parishes in order to reflect modern circumstances.
After 1921 each ecclesiastical parish has been the responsibility of the parochial church councils. In the late 19th century, most of the ancient irregularities inheri
Avon Fire and Rescue Service
Avon Fire & Rescue Service is the fire and rescue service covering the unitary authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire in South West England. The headquarters of the service is co-located with Avon and Somerset Police in Portishead, the service has 22 fire stations across its area. Avon Fire Brigade was created in 1974. In 1996, the county was abolished and four separate unitary authorities were created. Administration of the service was taken over by a joint fire authority made up of councillors from the four unitary authorities. In 2004, the Fire and Rescue Services Act was passed. To better reflect the changing roles and responsibilities of the fire service, Avon Fire Brigade changed its name to Avon Fire & Rescue Service. Fleur Lombard QGM was the first female firefighter to die on duty in peacetime Britain, while Avon Fire and Rescue Service were fighting a supermarket fire in Staple Hill; the Fleur Lombard Bursary Fund provides travel grants so that a junior UK firefighter may visit the fire service of another country.
In September 2017 the service's headquarters was moved from Temple Back, Bristol to the Avon and Somerset Constabulary's headquarters in Portishead. Following the move an unexpected number of support staff left the service, resulting in recruitment delays in finding replacement staff. On 28 July 2017, the Chief Fire Officer, Kevin Pearson was suspended following the publication of a report from the Home Office on an investigation into how the service is run, citing that it was being run as an "old boys' club", that Pearson had been "unchallenged and not held properly to account for too long". Deputy Chief Fire Officer Lorraine Houghton was suspended; the service is governed by the Avon Fire Authority, which has a total of 25 councillors from the four councils within the region. Following the suspension of Pearson, the board met on 2 August 2017 to discuss what changes needed to be made and how the authority should be governed in the future, but no conclusion was reached; the authority released a statement afterwards announcing that it could not "fix itself" and that the Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens is to be appointed to the board in September.
Mountstevens has said following the release of the report that she was considering a takeover of the area's fire service. On 11 August 2017, it was announced that Mick Crennell had been appointed as the interim Chief Fire Officer on a six month contract, whilst the investigation of Pearson is taking place. Crennell served as Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. In April 2018 Crennell was appointed Chief Fire Officer; the role of a modern fire and rescue service has increased from fighting fires to cover the core functions of'Protecting and Responding'. Avon Fire & Rescue Service now has a wider remit promoting community safety through events and education work, alongside attending a range of incidents and emergencies from road traffic collisions and fires, to flooding and chemical spills; the fire service aims to cut the risk of fire developing in the first place by promoting safety messages to local residents and encouraging people to have working smoke alarms.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service runs community safety campaigns. The summer 2009 campaign,'Be BBQ Safe', included a hard hitting interview with a BBQ fire burns victim who spent the previous summer in intensive care after using nitro to light his BBQ; the Car Clear scheme was launched in 2001, with the intention of promptly removing abandoned vehicles from streets. This eliminates the possibility of arson attacks. In meeting their Mission and Values Avon Fire & Rescue Service utilizes a large cadre of emergency equipment; these include 81 appliances, 51 pumping appliances, four turntable ladders and 16 special appliances. Adding to the available emergency response can be their boats, fork lift trucks, a Control Emergency Evacuation Vehicle and a telescopic handler. In 2009 & 2011 Avon Fire & Rescue added two - Polybilt bodied Combined Aerial Rescue Platforms; the first began service at Patchway fire station and was subsequently moved to Speedwell fire station. The second was assigned to Bedminster fire station.
However both of these appliances have been withdrawn from service by July 2016 and the bodywork has been removed from the chassis to allow for the chassis to be used for new specialist appliances. In 2009 to better serve the public Yate Fire Station was upgraded to "whole-time/retained status". Firefighters would now be ready to respond from the fire station 24/7; this was a preparedness upgrade from the "day-crewed" status of 0800 – 1700 hours daily and firefighters responding from their homes and work places. As part of the "Investing for the Future" programme, which began in 2014, Kingswood Fire Station was closed for refurbishment; the Kingswood Fire Station project was completed and subsequently Speedwell Fire Station closed permanently all in 2015. The Chair of Avon Fire Authority assured the public. Along with Speedwell Fire Station Keynsham Fire Station was closed 1 November 2015. According to the Chairman of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Peter Abraham "The regeneration of Keynsham town centre meant we needed to move the existing Keynsham Fire Station.
This has provided us with an opportunity to amalgamate the part-time station at Keynsham and Brislington fire station, which will both close, into a new Wholetime fire station at Hicks Gate." In 2009 it emerged that the service had banned white males from four out of five of its recruitment workshops, with two only open to ethnic minorities and two for females only. The practice was criticised as illegal and divisi