ONE of the country’s first police commissioners to also take oversight of a fire service has revealed how she intends to slash the salary of a leading role.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said the county’s previous substantive chief fire officer, who is now retired, had been employed by her predecessors, the council-run fire authority, and had a basic salary of £155,000 as well as a £6,000 car allowance.

She told a meeting of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel that the previous salary for the role appeared to be well above the going rate.

The commissioner, who had pledged to introduce efficiencies before taking over from the fire authority, said: “That’s substantially more than the chief constable is paid and actually was the third highest chief fire officer salary in the country.”

Mrs Mulligan said after comparisons with similar fire and rescue services the salary being offered for the top fire service job in the county was now £113,600.

She told members: “There has been a significant reduction in the pay of the role, even with recruitment costs, living costs and so on we are still looking to save around £50,000.”

She said she was reviewing senior roles in organisations she oversees and therefore would only appoint a chief fire officer for a one-year term.

Mrs Mulligan said six candidates had applied for the role, including one from Australia, and following a thorough process, Leicestershire fire officer Andrew Brodie had been selected on a “loan arrangement” secondment.

York councillor Chris Steward told the meeting it seemed peculiar that matters concerning Mr Brodie’s employment, such as disciplinary issues, would in the first instance be considered by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service rather than Mrs Mulligan.

He highlighted concerns that while Mr Brodie was only being taken on for 12 months the East Midlands service could call him back to work there at any time if it needed him.

Cllr Steward said: “It seems a bit strange for a senior position you would have that level of loan agreement. If Leicestershire want him back they can have him back. So if they are in particular need in Leicestershire we lose our chief fire officer.”

Mr Brodie, who described himself as “not the standard typical fire officer”, said he recognised there was uncertainty surrounding his secondment.

He said: “I can assure you my commitment is to North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service. From my personal perspective there will be no desire to leave North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and I don’t anticipate any concerns being raised in Leicestershire that will lead to them looking for my early return.”

After being asked by councillors to outline his credentials to take on the role ahead of numerous anticipated changes in the service, Mr Brodie said his personal strengths laid in how he dealt with people.

He said: “I care about people I believe in fairness and I believe in equity, and the importance of trust. My professional strengths are around strategy, vision and collaboration. I’m not the standard typical fire officer. I don’t sit on my own laurels or those of the fire and rescue service. It’s about constant progression and improvement and improving the service for the public which is why we exist.

“Change is going to be tricky for everybody involved. Communication will be an essential part of that process. Experience in the past has demonstrated when the person leading the change is equipped or armed with much more information and weaponry than the people impacted by the change it creates a problem.”