Fire Authority commissions independent inquiry
Statement issued by Essex Fire Authority Chairman Councillor Anthony Hedley today (November 12):
Essex Fire Authority has moved to commission an independent, root and branch inquiry into claims of a reported or perceived ‘intimidatory culture’ within the County’s fire service.
At an extraordinary meeting last week, Members voted unanimously to commission a wide-ranging inquiry. Terms of reference for the inquiry are still to be drawn up, but it will focus on the impact the culture has on staff relationships at all levels. It is hoped all relevant parties will support the inquiry.
The decision follows recent incidents that have threatened the excellent, professional reputation of the Authority and the Service. These were brought to the attention of Fire Authority Members in a confidential report from Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley.
The Authority emphasises that the scope of the proposed inquiry will exclude, for as long as they remain sub judice, the events which; and individuals who are the subject of criminal proceedings before the Crown Court at Basildon, concerning allegations of misconduct at the former Tilbury Fire Station between 1987 and 1998.