today with the appointment of Pamela Castle as chair of the Business
and Community Safety Forum (BCSF).
that will ensure the fire and rescue service works closely alongside
a wider body of stakeholders - such as business, industry and
community representatives - who can express their views on strategic
issues facing the service.
Fire safety minister Phil Hope said:
'I am delighted that Pamela Castle has agreed to chair this new body.
Her leadership of the Fire Safety Advisory Board of the Central Fire
Brigades Advisory Council has been widely admired.
'She is highly respected in the fire community and is well placed to
oversee the establishment of this new stakeholder body, which will
represent a wider body of 'customers' of the service than the
previous advisory machinery.'
'We will announce the members of the forum as soon as possible. But
this appointment takes forward the government's commitment, set out
in the White Paper, to reform the institutions and create a fire and
rescue service for the 21st century.'
1. The White Paper Our Fire and Rescue Service was published on 30
June 2003. It announced the government's intention to establish new
advisory bodies to support the modernisation of the fire and rescue
service. It can be viewed on the ODPM website at www.odpm.gov.uk
2. The White Paper also announced the abolition of the statutory
Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council (CFBAC), as soon as the
necessary legislation could be passed. The Business and Community
Safety Forum is intended to build on the success of the CFBAC's Fire
Safety Advisory Board, which is being wound up.
3. Pamela Castle has chaired the Fire Safety Advisory Board since
4. She is a solicitor with scientific qualifications a nd amongst
other things is the current chair of the Environmental Law
Foundation and co-chair of the London Sustainable Development Commission. She is
a former partner in the city law firm, CMS CameronMcKenna.
5. The draft terms of reference for the forum, to be put to its first
(i) To give strategic advice to ministers on those matters on which
ministers request advice and on any other matters relating to the
work of the fire and rescue service so as to ensure that ministers
take full account of the views of the service's customers and other
stakeholders when they make decisions on the development and
implementation of policy.
(ii) The forum can nominate people to work with ODPM, the
Practitioners' Forum, and others on particular topics.
(iii) The forum shall report directly to the minister if it considers
that it is the most effective and appropriate way of giving strategic
advice, but this will not prevent it from consulting with or
reporting to any other body established for the purpose of advising
the minister on matters concerning fire and the work of the fire and
rescue service when it considers that appropriate for the discharge
of its strategic advisory function.