We encouraged people to get involved and have their say on our Corporate Plan 2021-2026. In order to continue to deliver an effective, efficient and world class service, we welcomed views from all stakeholders to help us to shape and improve Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
The consultation period was open between Monday, 28 September and Friday, 04 December.
219 stakeholders responded to the consultation, which was a 53% increase on 2019/20 where 143 responses were received. We also received 7 written responses from Councillors, Town & Community Councils and partner organisations.
Of the 219 responses, 163 of the respondents worked for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service which was a record number. The majority of respondents agreed that our Strategic Aims were something we should be looking to achieve.
Strategic Aim One – Our People
The response to Strategic Aim One was mainly positive, with most respondents agreeing that the Draft Strategic Aim was something the Service should be looking to achieve and that the Improvement and Well-being Objectives were the right objectives to deliver the Strategic Aim.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Several comments indicated the importance of focussing on mental health and wellbeing and that this should be a priority for the Service to support their staff. Significant support was also received for building a more inclusive and diverse workforce.
Other feedback stated that whilst they agreed that co-production and working collaboratively with partner organisations was important, the meaning and context of the word “co-production” was not always fully understood.
Strategic Aim Two – Our Communities
Strategic Aim Two received a positive response with respondents agreeing that it was something the Service should be looking to achieve.
There was clear support for the Service to continue building on already established partnerships and that the sharing of key information was imperative to supporting and understanding the communities we serve.
Focussing on delivering the services our communities need was also highlighted by respondents, as well as the benefit of sharing premises with our partners to enhance relationships, information and communication.
Strategic Aim Three – Our Environment
Significant support was received for this Strategic Aim and its Improvement and Well-being Objectives. It was clear from the feedback provided that protecting the environment should remain a priority for the Service.
Reducing Carbon Emissions
Several comments indicated that reducing carbon emissions should be a key area of focus due to the large geographical footprint covered by the Service. There were, however, concerns raised regarding the proposed reduction in the amount of water used throughout the Service and its potential impact on operational activities.
Strategic Aim Four - Our Learning
The majority of respondents agreed that Our Learning was a key focus area for the Service. Several comments were received concerning the need to continue with the development of our IT based software systems and enhancing our staff’s knowledge and skills.
There was considerable support to continue embedding the “Ideas Forum” throughout the Service, as it was acknowledged that some of the best ideas come from staff and from those working on the ground.
IT and Connectivity
Some of the feedback provided made reference to the requirement for all staff to have the necessary training to use new IT systems. IT connectivity was also highlighted as a potential area of improvement on some stations.
Some respondents also commented that the Service is overly reliant on paper-based processes, which are extremely time-consuming and not as efficient as computer-based software systems.
Concerns regarding budgetary constraints impacting on our ability to fulfil our Strategic Aims and Improvement and Well-being Objectives was highlighted by respondents, with particular emphasis on the impact on Service’s budget and resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comments were also received in relation to staff not being listened to as well as the perceived lack of communication for the rationale of key decision making within the organisation.
We did... Our Response
Each Strategic Aim and their associated Improvement and Well-being Objectives were reviewed and amended accordingly to reflect the feedback received. We also reviewed the document to ensure that the information contained within the Corporate Plan was clear, easy to understand, written in “plain English” and contained no jargon.
We recognise the importance of continuing to improve our communication and key messages both internally and externally. We will develop innovative ways of educating and informing our communities to help ensure that they remain safe, healthy and prosperous, as well as raising awareness of our organisation “Being more than just a Fire Service”.
Working collaboratively with partner organisations and stakeholders will also remain a priority, to ensure that we achieve the best possible outcomes for our communities.
Listening to our staff
Continuing to build on the dialogue with staff to ensure that where possible they are involved in helping to shape the future of the Service will also remain a priority. Furthermore, ensuring that we communicate the detail and rationale for decision making across the Service, in order to keep our staff informed.
Open and Transparent
Finally, we will continue to operate in an open and transparent manner.
You can view all the responses where the respondents provided permission to publish their feedback in the Consultation Report (PDF, 2.5Mb).