Service Leadership Board

The Service Leadership Board has overall responsibility for the organisation’s strategic direction, leadership, decision making, both capital and revenue requirements and risk

The Service Leadership Board is responsible for making strategic decisions to ensure the effective delivery of Avon Fire & Rescue Services responsibility of protection, prevention, resilience and response. Meeting bi-weekly, the Board manages Avon Fire & Rescue Service on behalf of elected members of Avon Fire Authority.

The Board is led by Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton and supported by the Director of Corporate Services Angela Feeney, along with Assistant Chief Fire Officers Richard Welch and Steve Imrie, who oversee the day-to-day operations of Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Simon Shilton – Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive

Appointed Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive in April 2022, Simon began his firefighting career at Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS), spending the first 15 years in various roles, including Station Manager overseeing Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Training Manager, and Incident Command Trainer. He also served as an operational firefighter at stations in Avonmouth, Bath, Temple, and Southmead.

After eight years at West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, where he served as an Area Commander, Simon returned to AF&RS in 2017 as Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Service Delivery Support.

Angie Feeney – Director of Corporate Services

Angela Feeney

Appointed as Director of Corporate Services in July 2020, Angie has been with the Service for 13 years, initially joining the HR department in October 2006. With a background in local and central government, she previously worked in London for the Department for Education and Skills, contributing to national headteacher training policy and serving in various corporate service roles, including program management, learning and development, and HR.

Angie holds a degree from University College London, a condensed MBA, and has completed the Fire Service Executive Leadership Programme (ELP) at Warwick University Business School. Additionally, she possesses several vocational qualifications in HR, mediation, and coaching.

Richard Welch – Assistant Chief Fire Officer Service Delivery Support 

Richard was appointed Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Service Delivery support in August 2022. Richard joined London Fire Brigade in 1996, progressing through various roles. Notably, he established the Local Intervention Fire Education (L.I.F.E) project in East London, earning the prestigious Mayors London Day Award in 2003. His community engagement extended globally, delivering training to Fire and Rescue Services in the UK and abroad.

Promoted to Station Manager in 2009, Richard held roles at East Ham and Poplar Fire Stations. He later became Borough Commander in Bexley, Southwark, and Lambeth before advancing to Deputy Assistant Commissioner in regulatory fire safety in 2017. Between 2019 and 2022, he served as Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the South East and North East Areas of London.

Steve Imrie – Assistant Chief Fire Officer Service Delivery

Steve Imrie

Appointed Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Service Delivery in September 2021, Steve brings extensive experience, having joined the Service in October 1995 after a decade in the armed forces. His roles encompassed operational firefighting at various stations, Training Manager, Vulnerable Adults Manager, Station Manager for multiple stations, Unitary Manager for BANES and South Gloucestershire, and Head of Operational Response.

From 2017 to 2019, he led the Internal Improvement Team in response to a statutory inspection. Steve served as Temporary Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Service Delivery since January 2021, preceded by eight months as Temporary Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Service Delivery Support in 2020.

Verity Lee – Statutory Finance Officer

Verity was appointed as Statutory Finance Officer in May 2023. Following graduation from the University of Warwick, Verity started her training to become a chartered accountant. In 2012, whilst working as an external auditor she qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Following 4 years working within an Accountancy Firm, Verity spent 9 years working in the Aerospace industry as a Financial Accountant and later as a Finance Manager.

Verity works 3.5 days per week and holds the statutory appointment under Section 112 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, to make arrangements for the proper administration of the Fire Authority’s financial affairs. Within this role Verity has specific responsibilities for the Fire Authority’s Statutory Accounts and to lead the Financial Strategies, including the 4-year Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP), the Reserves Strategy, Treasury Management Strategy and the 3-year Capital Strategy. Verity is responsible for ensuring there is appropriate financial monitoring and forecasting of the budgets, implementation of internal financial controls and leads the relationship with Authority’s External Auditors.

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