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Councillor Cleo Lake: Avon Fire Authority statement

At an 'Extraordinary Meeting' of Avon Fire Authority Thursday 27 July, Green Councillor for Cotham Cleo Lake gave her first statement as a new member of the authority.

In the statement Councillor Lake says that "Disciplinary measures must be taken both at management and if necessary board level", and argues that "politics must be left at the door as we are here for the greater good of all our citizens."

I don't currently support the Police and Crime commissioner taking over the governance at this time but this could be subject to review. I can see how her wider inclusion panels could assist but I am not fully convinced. I have confidence in our new independent Chair in attempting to steer us in the right direction and he has made a significant effort to begin to action plan the changes needed but a plan is nothing if it isn't adequately actioned.

I joined in May 2017, now obviously at a crucial time. I am saddened and deeply concerned about all that has been allowed to occur. Our code of conduct must be reviewed and I would welcome particularly as a new member to undergo appropriate independent training. As a board much of the responsibility going forwards lies with us - this is now our watch and change must come. 

I am proud of our firefighters on the front line and we must strive to echo these efforts at board and management level to ensure public confidence in our authority. Disciplinary measures must be taken both at management and if necessary board level. Going forwards the recommendations and measurable milestones towards culture change must be set in collaboration with an independent body, and must be clearly set so that as a board members we can easily track progress and scrutinize actions.

I am a Green Councillor but politics must be left at the door as we are here for the greater good of all our citizens. We need responsible, relevant, bold, forward thinking, inclusive and engaging leadership. Can we take everyone with us? I am not sure - I am new, I am observing, but I am not an observer - I am here out of duty and intend to make a tangible impact.

Background information:
Avon Fire Authority Press Release about the meeting

Avon Fire Authority meeting minutes and agenda

BBC Article - Avon's chief fire officer and deputy suspended

Contact info for Councillor Lake:

Cllr.Cleo.lake@bristol.gov.uk

@CleoDanceBaton

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