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Appointment of a Chair and ten non-executive members to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey today announced the appointment of a Chair and ten Non-Executive Members (five Lay Members; four District Councillor Members; and a Trade Union Representative Member) to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board (NIFRSB).

They are:

  • Dr Joe McKee, Chair.
  • Mrs Siubhan Grant, Lay Member.
  • Mr Alan Hanna, Lay Member.
  • Mr Milton Kerr, Lay Member.
  • Mr Charles Mack, Lay Member.
  • Mrs Paula Tally, Lay Member.
  • Cllr David Barbour, District Councillor Member.
  • Cllr Michael Carr, District Councillor Member.
  • Mr Arnold Hatch, District Councillor Member.
  • Ald Geraldine Rice, District Councillor Member.
  • Mr Jim Barbour, Trade Union Representative Member.

Commenting on the appointments the Minister said: “These appointments represent a new era for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service. The new Board members will bring a wealth of experience and skills to the organisation at a time when it is facing significant changes and challenges. I wish the new Board members well in their future roles.”

Paying tribute to the outgoing interim Board members, the Minister said: “I want to express my sincere thanks to the interim Chair and Board members for the contribution they have made to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service over the past few months.”

The appointments were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Non-Executive Members terms of appointment are for the period from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2014, with the exception of Mrs Paula Tally and Mr Arnold Hatch, whose terms of appointment end on 30 September 2013. The Chair, Dr Joe McKee, will be appointed for a four year term with effect from 1 January 2011.

Notes to editors:

1. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service provides a range of fire and rescue services including fire safety, fire fighting and rescuing people trapped in road traffic accidents, to a Northern Ireland population of 1.71 million covering an area of over 5,500 square miles.

2. It has 68 fire stations throughout Northern Ireland and is divided into four Area Commands which are supported by 14 Districts, strategically placed in order to create a community focus for NIFRSB activities. Following a recent review of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service undertaken by the Department of Finance and Personnel, a number of recommendations were agreed including the appointment of a Trade Union Representative Member on the NIFRSB and remuneration for Non-Executive Members.

3. The Chair of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service receives annual remuneration of £25,195, whilst non-executive members receive annual remuneration of £5,845.

4. The appointments were made with the approval of the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. There are no specific qualifications for appointment.

5. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be published. Councillors David Barbour and Michael Carr; Mr Arnold Hatch and Alderman Geraldine Rice declared they had engaged in political activity in the last five years. The other members declared they had not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

6. CHAIR APPOINTMENT:

Dr Joe McKee lives in Belfast. Since September 2002, he has been employed as Head of Music Service and Principal of the City of Belfast School of Music. Prior to this, he had been a Radio Producer at BBC NI, before moving to Methodist College Belfast as Director of Music and Head of Faculty. Dr McKee is currently serving as a Trustee/Chair of the Programming and Marketing Committee of the Grand Opera House, Belfast, and a Member of the Central Advisory Panel of the Arts Council of NI. In his early career he was a firefighter, gaining operational experience in Carrickfergus, Belfast, Armagh and Ballymena, so will bring to the appointment practical knowledge of a community based service. As a broadcaster for many years he will also bring his valuable communication skills to the NIFRSB. Dr McKee holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

7. MEMBER APPOINTMENTS:

Cllr David Barbour lives in Coleraine. For 36 years until May 2007, Cllr Barbour was employed in the Ambulance Service where he held the offices of Station Officer, Divisional Officer, Assistant Director and Executive Officer. He is presently serving as an elected member of Coleraine Borough Council. Cllr Barbour was appointed as a Local Government Representative Member of the Northern Local Commissioning Group and is a governor of Killowen Primary School, Culcrow Primary School and Coleraine College. Cllr Barbour has a Masters Degree in Social Policy and Administration, a Higher National Certificate in Business and Finance from the University of Ulster and a National Certificate in Transport. Cllr Barbour will bring to the appointment his 23 years experience in management of human resources, financial, organisational, fleet and emergency planning, together with his skills associated with 13 years working in local government. He holds no other public appointments and has engaged in political activity for the Ulster Unionist Party in the last five years.

Mr Jim Barbour lives in Belfast. Mr Barbour is employed by the NI Fire and Rescue Service as a Crew Commander and is also the Northern Ireland Executive Council Member for the Fire Brigades Union. He was previously a Director (Irish Congress of Trade Unions nominee) of Castlereagh Local Strategy Partnership. During the period 1 July 2010 to 30 September 2010, Mr Barbour was an interim Non-Executive Member on the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board and is currently a member of the Fair Employment Tribunal, for which he receives £174.00 per day, as and when required. Mr Barbour will bring to the appointment, 27 years of Fire Service experience having led negotiations on behalf of the Fire Brigades Union. He has not engaged in any political activity in the past five years.

Cllr Michael Carr lives in Warrenpoint. Cllr Carr is currently employed by Teleperformance, Newry, where he is a Team Leader with responsibility to directly manage, develop, and motivate a team of 15 to efficiently achieve campaign objectives ensuring quality standards are adhered to at all times. He is presently serving as an elected member of Newry and Mourne District Council. Cllr Carr will bring to the appointment his wide range of public safety awareness, having served as the first Chairman of Newry & Mourne District Policing Partnership, together with his strong independent and rational view on issues of strategy and performance. He holds no other public appointments and has engaged in political activity for the Social Democratic and Labour Party in the last five years.

Mrs Siubhan Grant LLB lives in Holywood. Over a period of ten years she served as a Non-Executive Director, then Non-Executive Chair of the former Ulster Community and Hospitals Trust. She has served as a member of the Diocesan Care Management Committee which oversees the running of a home for the elderly/frail elderly. She has been a member of the Consumer Council since 2002 and Deputy Chair, since 2007, for which she receives £67.62 for meetings under four hours and £135.25 for meetings over four hours. Mrs Grant has served on a number of different boards in the public and voluntary sectors. She has played a full role in the governance of these organisations and will bring this experience and knowledge to bear in the role of Non-Executive Member of the FRSB. Mrs Grant has not engaged in any political activity in the past five years.

Mr Alan Hanna lives in Belfast. Mr Hanna has a Masters degree in Management and is employed, on a part-time basis, as Assistant Director with Autism Initiatives NI; his responsibilities include PR, Communication, Fundraising, Strategic Development, Staff Training and Development, Social Enterprise and Programme Management. He is also working as a self employed consultant with responsibilities for Management consultancy support to a number of voluntary organisations. During the period 1 July 2010 to 30 September 2010, Mr Hanna was an interim Non-Executive Member of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Business Services Organisation for which he receives annual remuneration of £5,296. Mr Hanna has served as a Non-Executive Director on a variety of public sector boards across a range of government departments. He will bring to the appointment his knowledge of the wider public sector as well as experience gained in the voluntary and private sectors which includes direct experience of managing major change projects. Mr Hanna has not engaged in any political activity in the past five years.

Mr Arnold Hatch lives in Portadown. Until he sold his business in 2004, Mr Hatch had, for almost twenty years, been Proprietor and Managing Director of Craigavon Technology and Engineering Ltd. He is presently serving as an elected member of Craigavon Borough Council. He is currently appointed as Chairman of the Southern Regional College for which he receives travel expenses only, and from 1 July 2006 to 31 May 2009, served as a Non- Executive Member of the NI Fire and Rescue Service Board. He is also involved, in a voluntary capacity, as Vice Chairman of Portadown 2000 Regeneration Company and until very recently was former Chairman of the South Ulster Housing Association. Mr Hatch will bring a wealth of experience to the appointment having owned and managed his engineering business and his skills in accounting, finance, and human resources. Mr Hatch has engaged in political activity for the Ulster Unionist Party in the last five years.

Mr Milton Kerr Q.P.M. lives in Eglinton, Co Londonderry. He holds the degrees of Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours. Mr Kerr’s career was spent serving in the Police Service of NI and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). He attained the rank of Chief Inspector and was Head of Community Safety, North West District, with responsibility for, inter alia: adopting a problem solving approach to community safety issues; developing local partnership agreements; developing strategies to reduce crime and disorder; the promotion and management of partnership policing; promotion and awareness raising of social responsibilities and community safety among young people; representing the PSNI; monitoring compliance with health and safety matters; managing organisational change and chairing meetings. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the 2008 New Years Honours List for his contribution to “Policing with the Community”, particularly in relation to hate crime. Mr Kerr’s significant experience of establishing innovative and creative partnership and his ability to work in an open, honest and collaborative manner will assist him in his new role on the NIFRS board. He holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

Mr Charles Mack lives in Dromore, Co Down. Since February 2010, Mr Mack has been Director and previously, from June 2005, Senior Manager Health and Social Care with the Royal National Institute of Blind People. He was previously employed as a Principal Officer with the Electoral Commission and has also worked in the Volunteer Development Agency and the National Trust. He is currently a Lay Member of the Registration, Preliminary Proceedings, Conduct and Restoration Committees of the NI Social Care Council and was previously a Lay Member of the Research Ethics Committee. Mr Mack will bring to the appointment his skills in facilitating multi-disciplinary teams on contentious and challenging areas, having led a DHSSPS Review of Optometry and the UK Vision Strategy. Mr Mack holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

Ald Geraldine Rice MBE lives in Carryduff. Until 2007, Ald Rice was employed on an ad-hoc basis by the Department of Agriculture as a Food Hygiene Consultant and self-employed as a Consultant and Trainer in Food Hygiene and Health and Safety at Work. She is presently serving as an elected member of Castlereagh Borough Council. Ald Rice is currently appointed as a Human Rights Commissioner, for which she receives annual remuneration of £10,000, and a Local Government Representative on the Belfast Local Commissioning Group (LCG). She is currently serving in a voluntary capacity as a Director of Clanmil Housing Association Ireland, having previously served as Vice Chair and Chair of the organisation and is a Director of Milbreen Ltd. She will bring a wealth of experience to the FRSB having served as a Councillor for 21 years and was Deputy Mayor in 2006. She has experience of Strategic Planning, Corporate Governance, Audit and Risk Management and experience in Health and Safety issues. Ald Rice has engaged in political activity for the Alliance Party in the last five years.

Mrs Paula Tally lives in Dungannon. Mrs Tally is currently employed by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust as Best Care Best Value Project Manager supporting the delivery of efficiency savings within the Directorate of Mental Health and Disability. Her previous position with the Trust was as Head of Reform and Modernisation providing enhanced support, reform expertise and specialist intervention into specific areas which require improvement in performance to achieve core goals. Mrs Tally served as a Non-Executive Director on the NI Fire and Rescue Service Board from July 2006 to June 2010. Working at a senior level and with a diverse range of stakeholders, Mrs Tally brings to the FRSB a wealth of experience of working with complex organisations to deliver key targets and making significant improvements. She holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

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