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Publication Scheme

The publication scheme is a guide to the information Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) routinely makes available to the public and wherever possible provides an easy method of accessing this information. 

Under the Freedom of Information Act every public authority has a legal duty to adopt and maintain a publication scheme and explain within it what information they publish, how the information is made available, and whether it is available free of charge or upon payment. 

The purpose of a publication scheme is to ensure that a significant amount of information is routinely made available to the public in a structured way without the need for a specific request.
 
The publication scheme is organised into the major areas of work MAWWFRS is involved in and is grouped into the following seven main classes of information: 
  • ​​Who we are and what we do
  • What we spend and how we spend it
  • What our priorities are and how we are doing
  • How we make decisions
  • Our policies and procedures
  • Lists and registers
  • The services we offer

Within each of these categories there is information available on a range of different subjects


Who we are and what we do

Geographical area of operation

​Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is responsible for providing public safety information, prevention and protection programmes, and emergency response cover for the area spanning the Mid and West Wales Counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Swansea.

The Service employs over 1,400 members of staff and covers around 4,500 square miles - almost two thirds of Wales.

Local information relating to your local County Command area and local fire stations can be accessed via the http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Who-We-Are/Pages/default.aspx to your area.

The Fire Authority – Role and Responsibilities

The Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority is the governing body responsible for ensuring the provision of fire services under the Fire Services Act 2004 and subsequent fire related information. The Authority discharges its responsibilities by the Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (the Service). The primary functions of the Service are fire-fighting, special rescues and humanitarian services, fire safety, community risk reduction, including fire safety education services to schools, and helping to reduce road traffic collisions.

 The 25 Members of the Fire Authority are appointed from Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Swansea councils. The composition of the Fire Authority is determined by the size of the electoral representation within each local authority and the political proportionality across the combined area.

For further information visit the http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/FireAuthority/Pages/default.aspx which contains the location and contact details for all Fire Authority Members 

The main core functions of the Fire Authority are set out within the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 as follows:

To promote fire safety in order to prevent fires, and death or injury by fire, and to obtain the necessary information to assist in this. Extinguishing fires and protecting life and property in the event of fires, through the provision of personnel, services, equipment and training. Rescuing trapped/injured people from road traffic collisions, through the provision of personnel, services, equipment and training.

Making arrangements to deal with calls for help and mobilising personnel, services and equipment to incidents.

Dealing with emergencies other than fires or road traffic collisions as the Secretary of State may order. These include dealing with spillage and/or release of substances endangering life or the environment and responding to the effects of extreme weather conditions, e.g. pumping water from flooded property where there is life risk.

Senior Management Team

The current outline and profiles of the executive management team and directorates can be accessed here http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Who-We-Are/Pages/Directorates-and-Departments.aspx

What we spend and how we spend it

This section contains financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement, contracts and financial audit.

Annual Budgets

All spending within the Fire Authority is governed by Financial Regulations that fall within the statutory responsibilities set out in the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

The majority of the funding for the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is received by way of levy from the six Unitary Authorities within our area. The Revenue budget for 2012/13 totalled £43.0M.

The Fire Authority agrees on the allocation of the budget in March each year which includes revenue and capital expenditure. The budget allocations for the financial years 2007/8 to 2011/12 together with further information on quarterly financial performance is reported to the Resource Management Committee http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/FireAuthority/Committees/Pages/Resource-Management-Committee.aspx

Annual statement of accounts

The Statement of Accounts for the past seven years can be viewed here http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Our-Finances/Pages/Statement-of-Accounts.aspx

Financial Audit Reports

The External Auditor’s annual report includes a response by the Authority’s personnel to the points raised within the report. The MAWWFRA’s internal audit plan is considered annually and describes the programme of annual reviews to be conducted by the internal audit team from Carmarthenshire County Council. The reviews cover control systems including both financial and non-financial systems and summary reports of these reviews are considered regularly by the Performance, Audit & Scrutiny Committee  http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Our-Finances/Pages/Statement-of-Accounts.aspx

Financial regulations and delegated authority

MAWWFRA’s financial regulations which include details of how financial decisions are made and the officer’s delegated authority can be found within the Authority’s Constitution http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/FireAuthority/What-is-the-Authority/Pages/Fire-Authority-Constitution.aspx

Procurement procedures

This section provides information on our tendering and procurement processes, supplier information and codes of practice on tenders and contracts.

Included within our Sustainability and Environment Strategy http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/How-We-Do-It/Pages/Sustainability-and-Environment.aspx is information on responsible procurement which details the purchase of goods, works and services in an environmentally and socially responsible way that delivers value for money and benefits the local area.

If you are a supplier of Goods or Services and would like an opportunity to sell to us then we have a guide for you that explains all about our Applications to Tender process.

 This guide is designed to show suppliers and contractors how to make the most of the opportunities that are available. It aims to provide information and guidance for current and potential suppliers and contractors to apply for the Service’s contracts. It will also clarify what legislation influences our tendering requirements, and describes the procedures necessary to bid for work by:

  • Clarifying the procurement rules that the Service must follow.
  • Outlining the Service’s tendering thresholds.
  • Detailing how we advertise tenders and requests for quotations (RFQ’s).
  • Explaining how to bid for the Service’s work.

Supplier information and details about selling to MAWWFRA including who to contact can be accessed in the How to Sell to Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service - A Guide for Current and Potential Suppliers / Contractors​​ http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Access-to-Information/Pages/Selling-to-Us.aspx

What our priorities are and how we are doing

Within the section can be viewed information about the Service’s strategies and plans, performance indicators, audits, inspections and review, corporate plan and annual reports.

Strategic plan, business plan, aims and objectives

Our Plans, Policies and documents are key indicators to how our business is doing and enables us to work towards and achieve our aims and objectives. For further information view the Polices and Documents section http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Access-to-Information/Pages/Policies-and-Documents.aspx  to access:

Strategic Plan for 2010 – 2015

This plan outlines the strategic vision for MAWWFRA for the next five years with a clear focus on improving the safety of our communities and of our employees.

Asset Management Plan

The Asset Management Plan is a living document and will develop on a five year planning cycle, being reviewed and updated annually.

Annual Action Plan 2012 – 2013

This plan represents year three of the Authority’s five year Strategic Plan for improvement and reflects how the consultation has shaped objectives for next year.

Strategic Equality Plan 2012 – 2016

The Plan conveys the commitment of the Authority to promote equality of opportunity across all MAWWF&RS functions, policies, practices and procedures and sets out how the Service will fulfill this commitment

Annual Improvement Report

The Auditor General reports on how well the Welsh Councils, Fire & Rescue Authorities and National Parks are planning for improvement and delivering their services. This report presents a picture of the improvement over the last year.

Strategic, Core and Local Indicators

Fire & Rescue Services in Wales are now reporting against the Wales Strategic and Core Indicators as set by the National Assembly for Wales. Strategic indicators are broken down into two areas:

  • Risk Reduction and Community Safety
  • Effective Response
  • These indicators are statutory and are audited on an annual basis
  • The core indicators are broken down into three areas:
  • Risk Reduction and Community Safety
  • Corporate Health – Workforce
  • Corporate Health – Finance

Core indicators are set as a means to provide a fuller more rounded picture of performance and to enable MAWWF&RS to collect and publish information on key areas of service delivery and corporate functions.

Local Indicators are set by individual departments or directorates to reflect their local priorities. These reports are considered by the Performance, Audit & Scrutiny Committee http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/FireAuthority/Committees/Pages/Performance-Audit-and-Scrutiny-Committee.aspx

How we make decisions

The framework for decision making within Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service rests with the Fire Authority and its supporting Committees.

The following agendas, minutes and supporting papers are available for viewing:

Fire Authority http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/FireAuthority/Committees/Pages/Fire-Authority.aspx

Performance Audit and Scrutiny Committee http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/FireAuthority/Committees/Pages/Performance-Audit-and-Scrutiny-Committee.aspx

Resource Management Committee http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/FireAuthority/Committees/Pages/Resource-Management-Committee.aspx

Meetings open to the public

MAWWFRA meetings, including those of its committees are held at the Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Carmarthen unless indicated otherwise. Principal decisions on key matters, such as strategy, policy and the budget are made at meetings of the full Fire Authority. Agendas containing a summary of the business that will be discussed at the meetings and reports can generally be viewed on the MAWWFRS website five working days before the meeting.

All Fire Authority meetings are open to the public except for when matters such as confidential, personal or confidential financial matters are being discussed. Some information considered at Authority meetings is confidential or exempt under the provisions of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985. Such information is not included in the publication scheme.

Public consultations

Official written responses to consultations to Government, and other governmental bodies (such as the Welsh Local Government Association and the Wales Audit Office), approved by the Authority. Official responses to government consultations can be found on the Welsh Local Government Association website http://www.wlga.gov.uk/

All MAWWFRA consultations are publicised on the website.

Policies and Procedures

Policies and Procedures which are approved by the Fire Authority guide our actions toward achieving priorities and objectives as set by the Fire & Rescue Services Act 2004, National Assembly of Wales and other regulatory bodies.

Service Information Manuals or Organisational Policy & Procedures Documents are the principle guidance for all employees within MAWWFRS in their day-to-day activities and operations. The Service has a range of policies and procedures that affect the manner in which our main services are provided, including policies and procedures for the safety of the Public and for handling requests for information. For further information see our main services in What we do, Your safety and Access to information http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/What-We-Do/Pages/default.aspx;

http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/Safety/Pages/default.aspx;

http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Access-to-Information/Pages/default.aspx;

Customer service

Information outlining the Services Compliments, Complaints and Freedom of Information policies together with links to the online forms can be accessed here:

Freedom of Information Requests
http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Access-to-Information/Pages/Freedom-of-Information.aspx

Complaints and Compliments http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/Contacts/Pages/Complaints-and-Compliments.aspx

Data Protection
http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Access-to-Information/Pages/Data-Protection.aspx

Internal instructions, manuals and guidelines

Internal guidelines of what we do and how we respond to fires and other emergencies and prevent fires from causing harm or damage to people and property. It includes guidelines on your safety as the public. See our main services in What we do http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/What-We-Do/Pages/default.aspx and Your safety http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/Safety/Pages/default.aspx

Policies and procedures about the employment of staff

This section outlines information on recruitment, career progression and vacancies within MAWWFRS http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/Careers/Pages/default.aspx

Standing Orders:

The Authority standing orders, delegated powers and financial provisions are set out in the Authority’s Constitution. http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/FireAuthority/What-is-the-Authority/Pages/Fire-Authority-Constitution.aspx

MAWWFRA is committed to the highest standards of corporate and ethical conduct from members and these are outlined within the constitution.

To request information on policies and procedures that are not currently published on our website, please contact us http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/Contacts/Pages/default.aspx

Lists and Registers

Registers are formal records of information that can be required by statute. This section provides information relating to lists and registers published by the Service.

Registers open to public inspection (and arrangements for access to the contents)

Public Register of Notice

Business Fire Safety

As part of our work to keep the public safe, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) visits and inspects a range of business and commercial premises. If we discover problems that could make premises unsafe, we can take action to ensure the responsible person for the premises resolves these problems. This includes issuing legal notices, which require the responsible person to take specific action, usually within a specified time, to ensure the premises are safe. As an enforcing authority of fire safety legislation, we are required by law (the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988) to maintain a public register which gives some information about these notices. Notices included on the register are:

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/contents/made

Article-29: Alterations notices:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/article/29/made

Article-30: Enforcement notices
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/article/30/made

​Article-31: Prohibition/Restriction notices
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/article/31/made

The online register contains details of notices from 1 January 2010. Details of notices served prior to 2010 can be viewed via our fire safety offices. Hard copies of register entries can be viewed free of charge at any reasonable time by contacting the respective Command fire safety office. Each entry on the register provides sufficient detail to convey the substance of the notice to which it relates, as required by the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/30/contents

MAWWFRS is unlikely to provide full copies of notices, as they are generally exempt information by virtue of Section 30(1)(b) and Section 31(1)(a) and (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents

Entries will be held on our register for a period of three years, or six months following the completion of any work that has been done to deal with fire safety issues, whichever is the longer. The information held on the public register is managed by the Business Fire Safety department of MAWWFRS.​

The services we offer

This section is an extension of who we are http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/Who-We-Are/Pages/default.aspx and what we do http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/What-We-Do/Pages/default.aspx which provides information on our roles and responsibilities; and the information here focuses on the main services Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service provide.

The information below provides details about about the provision of the Authority’s m legislative fire safety including a brief explanation of the provisions of special services and charges that may apply.

Regulatory responsibilities and procedures

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the “Order”) came into force in October 2006 and replaced over seventy pieces of fire safety law.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-premises-safe-from-fire-short-guide--2

The Order applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales and requires fire precautions to be put in place ‘where necessary’ and to the extent that it is ‘reasonable’ and ‘practicable in the circumstances of the case’.

The Order replaces many of the references to fire safety in other legislation such as the Fire Precautions Act, Licensing Act and Housing Acts with a simple, single Order.  The Order requires any person who exercises some level of control in premises to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and ensure occupants can safely escape if a fire does occur on the premises.  Under the Order, the ‘Responsible Person’ must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and act upon the significant findings identified and then implement and maintain a fire management plan.

Enforcement

In accordance with Article-25(a) of the Order (“Enforcing Authorities”), Mid and West Wales Fire Authority (the “Authority”) is the enforcing authority for premises covered by the Order within the Authority’s area whilst Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (the “Service”) enforces general fire safety legislation on behalf of the Mid and West Wales Fire Authority. In sites licensed by the Health & Safety Executive, the HSE will inspect process risk whilst the Authority will inspect general fire precautions.

The legislation the Authority enforces includes:

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005,

Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 (general fire precautions excluding process risks),

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (occupied premises).

Our Enforcement Policy is based on the principles of ‘Better Regulation’ contained in the Regulators Compliance Code and sets out the approach the Authority will take to enforce the legislation.  It will be used in conjunction with guidance issued by the Welsh Government, Parliament, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the Local Better Regulation Office and other relevant government departments.

The Authority supports the principle that “prevention is better than cure” and will aim to secure compliance, avoid bureaucracy, impose excessive cost and will seek to work with the business community to support and encourage economic progress, by offering information and advice to those we regulate.  Individuals, businesses and other undertakings are encouraged to put safety first and to integrate fire-prevention and fire-protection requirements into normal working methods.

In accordance with its duties under Section-6 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 the Authority will, to the extent that it considers it reasonable to do so, make arrangements for:

The provision of information, publicity and encouragement in respect of the steps to be taken to prevent fires and death or injury by fire;

The provision of advice, on request, about:

How to prevent fires and restrict their spread in buildings and other property;

The means of escape from buildings and other property in case of fire.

The purpose of the Authority’s enforcement function is to ensure that preventative remedial action is taken to protect relevant persons and to secure compliance with the Order.  The need for enforcement may stem from a lack of knowledge or a deliberate or negligent act.  The term enforcement has a wide meaning and applies to all dealings between the Authority and those on whom the law places a duty.

The purpose of enforcement is to:

Promote and achieve sustained compliance with the law;

Ensure that the person responsible for premises subject to fire safety regulation takes action to deal immediately with serious risks to the safety of relevant persons;

Ensure those individuals, businesses and other undertakings that breach fire safety requirements are held to account, which may include bringing alleged offenders before the courts.

We will always take urgent enforcement action when we believe public safety is being put at risk in buildings. The premises it applies to include offices, shops, care homes, community halls, pubs, clubs, restaurants, schools, marquees, hotels, hostels, factories and warehouses.

Fire Safety Complaints

Fire safety complaints received can be broadly divided into the following categories:-

A genuine concern expressed by an individual about what in their opinion appears to be a deficient standard of fire safety at specific premises.  The reasoning for informing MAWWFRS of this situation is both to raise the fire safety standards and also to prevent any occurrence directly resulting from the deficiency.

A malicious concern with no evidence of a known deficiency.  The reasoning for this type of complaint is usually aggravation between both parties with potential economic gain by the complainant and/or causing disruption to the subject of the complaint.

MAWWFRS will deal with fire safety complaints received in a number of ways e.g. in person, by telephone, by letter or e-mail etc. Individuals raising concerns will be encouraged to provide their contact details at the time of making the complaint.  However, anonymous complaints will be accepted, recorded and investigated.

Confidentiality

When the complainant’s details are known, confidentiality will be maintained to protect their identity.  Personal information will be kept in the strictest confidence and in accordance with Service’s Data Protection arrangements.  This is important in order to avoid deterring possible complainants who may have concerns that giving information could lead to discrimination or other negative action towards them.

Leaflets and explanatory booklets

A wide variety of fire safety guidance notes are produced and/or published for your safety and are available via our web-site.

The fire and rescue service has the discretion to charge for some services by virtue of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011). It is agreed Authority policy to charge for certain special services as follows:

Use of Authority equipment to supply or remove water.

Clearing of flooded commercial premises.

Making structures safe where there is no risk of personal injury to the public.

Any special service which is classified as ‘miscellaneous’.

Incidents involving chemicals/hazardous materials occurring other than in domestic locations.

Releasing people from lifts or effecting entry to a lift at non-emergency incidents.

There are a number exemptions to charging. For example, no charges are made at any type of incident while there remains any risk of fire, or a risk to life. The charge rate is £260 an hour per appliance attending (as from 1 April 2011).

MAWWFRA policy for releasing people from lifts is to charge lift owners or operators on the third lift release at the same building within a twelve month period.

The Authority is also able to charge for the provision of information and the charges are reviewed annually and normally from 1st April.

Press releases

Press releases issued by MAWWFRS and details about the different news and campaigns we are currently involved in http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/Newsroom/Pages/default.aspx