Chief Fire Officer takes 22% pay cut to protect front line services

Avon Fire Authority (AFA) yesterday agreed that the salary of Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer will be reduced by 22%.

The move is part of a package of cost saving measures the service will be undertaking as it seeks to make £2.6 million savings in 2011/12.

In a report to AFA the Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Kevin Pearson, stated that he was “willing to accept the decision of the Fire Authority”. The move will save Avon Fire Authority £37,000 a year from April 1 2011.

CFO Pearson said: “Throughout this cost cutting process I said we would look at every part of the organisation as we seek to deliver the necessary savings, while at the same time protecting the 999 response the community relies on.

“I promised to start at the top and that was not rhetoric. I meant what I said – the savings that will arise from this decision will protect jobs in the longer term.  

“The wages of all public sector managers have been the subject of considerable debate in recent months. Avon Fire Authority has taken this decision so that we can continue to provide a first class emergency service to the public.”

As well as reviewing the Chief Fire Officer’s salary, AFA members also approved plans to reduce the salaries of the AF&RS’s Service Management Board by up to 22% for all future appointments.

Chair of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Terry Walker, said: “I thank the Chief Fire Officer for his personal commitment to reaching the £2.6 million worth of savings we must make this year. There is no doubt the scale of the savings we must make are daunting but we can achieve them.

“Without question, making savings in management salaries will lessen the impact in other areas of the organisation.”