Posted: Wed 29th Jun 2022

North Wales Wales Fire & Rescue Service Authority appoints new chair

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 29th, 2022

Tackling “major challenges” faced by the North Wales fire and rescue service and meeting its “dedicated” teams are high on the agenda of its newly appointed leader.

Anglesey County Councillor Dylan Rees has been made the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority’s new chairman during its annual meeting held on Monday, June 20.

The 66-year-old former police inspector announced his “immediate priority” was to visit fire stations and departments to learn more about the operational work of the service.

Among “key challenges” faced by the service, he said were maintaining on-call fire crew availability, ensuring resources for staff development and corporate capacity to meet demands.

Set to serve the authority for the next 12 months, Cllr Rees – who has been a member of the Fire and Rescue Authority since 2017 – thanked members for their trust.

He also paid tribute to the retiring Chair and Conwy County Borough Councillor Peter Lewis.

“My thanks go to Councillor Lewis for his excellent work.” He said.

“I am pleased to be able to build on the foundation he has laid, having previously served as Deputy Chair since 2019.”

A resident of Llangefni, Cllr Rees said he believed that NWFRS provided “an excellent service and that the area was “fortunate” to be served by such a “dedicated team.”

“Going forward, the service faces a number of key challenges, including maintaining enough availability of on-call fire crews, ensuring enough resources to maintain and develop firefighter skills and having sufficient corporate capacity to meet current and future demand,” he said.

“As authority members, we will look to work in partnership with the service’s senior leadership team, as they respond to these major challenges.”

He added that it was “a privilege” to be elected as Chair and assured members that he was “fully committed to doing his best” in the role.

He also welcomed new and returning members to the meeting, the first since the recent local government elections.

Married with two grown up sons, Cllr Rees, was formerly a North Wales police officer for 27 years. His work included operational and strategic policing experience at Inspector level.

For eight years, he was a senior homelessness officer with Isle of Anglesey County Council and spent six years as a Senior Housing Officer with Grŵp Cynefin Housing Association.

He gained a BSc Econ (Hons) Politics and Law at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and an HNC (Distinction) in Public Administration with Police Options.

He has been chair of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, for the past nine years. In his spare time he enjoys golf, keep fit and serving in his local church.

Former North Wales firefighter, Flintshire County Councillor Paul Cunningham, was also voted in as the new Deputy Chair.

On taking on his role, Councillor Cunningham said: “I look forward to working with members in helping to protect the communities of North Wales.”

*Pictured: Councillor Dylan Rees and Councillor Paul Cunningham

BBC Local Democracy Reporter: Dale Spridgeon

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