After a short break for coffee, next up was Trevor McIlwaine from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, talking about the benefits of Local Enterprise Partnerships. These were introduced as part of the Localism Act and there are 39 across England. The partnerships, between businesses, the Local Authority, Further Education, charities and others invest and align resources to ensure positive outcomes for local communities. In terms of Fire Safety, Trevor identified the benefits as improving the sharing of data and intelligence, building relationships and breaking down barriers between services and stakeholders, increased partnership activity and raising awareness.
Rob Lawson from Kent Fire and Rescue Service introduced the short audit method which has been developed, and which it is hoped will be integrated into working practices from April 2016. This builds upon the success of the 2009 audit tool for supporting business fire safety. The short audit method, based upon the Regulators Code, will enable services to support those who are regulated and to provide clear guidance and advice, through offering services flexibility to support businesses and a toolbox resource.Rob described a five point model of the audit process, based on understanding the business regulation need, to meet the key objective that fire risks are controlled and fire safety management is sustainable. Consultation took place at every stage of the development process to hear the views of those being regulated and to offer transparency,
Jonathan Herrick took delegates on a whistle-stop tour of the revisions to Letters and Notices. The changes have been made to ensure that they (amongst other things) comply with the Regulators Code and use plain language – stating who’s at risk, what’s wrong and what needs to be done, as well as the reason the action is needed. Again, consultation was undertaken with both fire and rescue services and businesses to ensure they met the needs of both sectors.