Up to £30,000 to be spent on hunt for new Notts chief fire officer

Up to £30,000 will be spent on consultants to help with the search for Nottinghamshire’s new chief fire officer, it has been revealed.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 3:12 pm

Chief Fire Officer John Buckley, who started as a firefighter in 1996, has announced he will retire in April.

In replacing him, the service does not have to use consultants – but Mr Buckley has advised that is the best course of action.

Chief Fire Officer John Buckley, of Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, is to retire in April 2022 after 26 years of service.

The new CFO will be paid between £145,732 and £161,925.

A report for the Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority said: “The use of external consultants to support the process is likely to cost in the region of £25,000-30,000.

“This will be funded from the consultancy budget.”

The authority will now ‘consider all options’ for the future leadership of Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Mr Buckley, who was appointed to the role in 2014, said: “The process is quite rigorous, it is multi-faceted.

“To give additional reach into the sector, we also use consultants, they also act as independent advisors.

“We are seeking to spend in the region of £25,000-£30,000, it is not cheap unfortunately, because they tend to gear it on the salary.

“We would hope to be able to pull the whole process in the next few months.”

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‘Frustrating’

Coun Tom Hollis, Ashfield Council's deputy leader, said: “Why the hell do we have to spend £30,000 on a consultant?

“Bearing in mind, I suspect, at least 50 per cent of the applicants will be internal and the other one or two will have probably been directly approached.

“It is slightly frustrating.”

Mr Buckley said: “You don’t need to use consultants, but I advise you do, purely to give you that penetration into the sector.

“They have a far wider-reaching knowledge than what we do internally.

“I’d rather not spend it myself as well, but I do think it will add the independent element.”

Coun Michael Payne, meeting chairman, said: “John will be a massive loss to the service.

“He is absolutely determined until April next year to finish off some of his projects and continue working in the same vigour he always has.”