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Panel convened to consider proposed interim fire chief appointment

20 July 2023

Northampton Guildhall

West Northamptonshire Council has convened a confirmation hearing of the county’s Police, Fire and Crime Panel following notification from Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold of an interim appointment to the Chief Fire Officer role for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue.

The meeting will take place in the Great Hall at Northampton’s Guildhall from 10am on Thursday 27 July and will consider the proposed appointment of Simon Tuhill to the Interim Chief Fire Officer role.

Such panels are responsible for:

  • Scrutinising decisions and actions taken by the PCC
  • Reviewing the PCC’s draft Police and Crime Plan (and Fire and Rescue Plan where appropriate) and annual report
  • Reviewing the PCC’s annual proposed precept
  • Reviewing the proposed appointment of senior staff
  • Resolving non-criminal complaints about the conduct of the PCC
  • Making reports or recommendations to the PCC as needed
When I was first advised that an interim appt had been made and was about to be announced, I was extremely concerned that it was not intended to bring this to a confirmation hearing of the panel.  I sought confirmation of the legal position from the Monitoring Officer which confirmed my view that the panel must be consulted, and this was reported back to PFCC.

I am therefore pleased that this has now led to us having a properly constituted panel confirmation hearing scheduled to consider a full report on an interim appointment, in compliance with the proper process.  We have strict rules within which we work and it’s vital that we abide by these so that any decisions we make cannot be challenged at a later date.

Panel colleagues and I will have an opportunity to consider the proposal for Simon Tuhill, who has recently joined the service as Deputy Chief Fire Officer, to temporarily step into the more senior position following the departure of Mark Jones.
Cllr David Smith, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services, and panel chair

Mr Tuhill was previously Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and has served as a firefighter for more than 25 years.

Details for the meeting on 27 July can be found on the Council’s website and, as with all Police, Fire and Crime Panel meetings, it will be live streamed and available to watch back on YouTube.

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