The cover of the report and the home page of the new Oneplace website.
9 December 2009
A summary of today’s Organisational Assessment report published by the Audit Commission.
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service responds well to emergencies and is reducing the number of fires and injuries from fire, keeping costs down and working with other local organisations to improve services and lower the number of casualties on the roads.
These are some of the headlines from a report by government watchdog the Audit Commission, published this morning, looking at Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority’s performance.
The Organisational Assessment is part of an overview of local public services, covering the whole of England and combining the views of six inspectorates. The overview is called a Comprehensive Area Assessment, and it provides “snapshots” of how effectively services work together to improve an area’s quality of life.
Highlights from the report scrutinising Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority include:
- The last two years have seen a significant reduction in the number of accidental fires in the home and in serious injuries. These improvements have coincided with increasing investment in domestic fire safety and improved ability to target those most at risk.
- Key targets are largely met and the majority of this year's targets are being achieved. The last two years has seen a step change in performance on key incidents. Deliberate fires are reducing, along with malicious false alarms.
- The community safety service has been expanded to improve engagement at community and station level and to get a better understanding of risks.
- Through its work with young people, the authority is helping local councils and the police to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on local roads.
- Ability to mobilise fire appliances has been enhanced and the authority has good equipment.
- It is working better with other local organisations such as the police and voluntary organisations to improve services and is working hard to keep down costs and stay within budget.
- The authority has a good record of staying within budget, managing its resources and keeping costs down. Its finances are well managed. Costs are regularly reviewed and the authority has identified efficiencies through its new duty system.
The report notes that the authority is an organisation in transition, having taken on a large and challenging service transformation programme. It is introducing key projects to drive efficiencies, which are developing well and will have a major impact on service improvement in the near future.
It says the authority needs to continue this improvement journey and ensure that it has the right skills and resources to do this.
Councillor David Rowlands, Chairman of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, said: “This report is a testimony to all our staff and elected members, as it is their hard work and dedication that has enabled us to achieve this standard.
“It is clear that we have a firm foundation in place that will see us continue to improve into the future.”
Bill Feeley, Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This authority performs to a very high standard and is providing a quality, professional service to the people of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.
“Real progress has been achieved and noted since our last two major reviews in 2005 and 2006, and rather than be complacent we are working hard to continue to improve in the future.
“Staff and members should be rightly proud of the findings of this report, which describes a forward-looking service that is well positioned for the future.”
The authority scored two out of a possible four points in each of the five areas in which it was assessed – managing performance, use of resources, managing finances, governing the business and managing resources – and was described as an organisation that “performs adequately”.
Reports looking at the individual and collective performance of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority and other public service organisations in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes have been published – along with reports for the rest of England - on the government’s special Oneplace website at www.direct.gov.uk/oneplace
Click here to go straight to the Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority section of the Oneplace website.