The Chair of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Judith Hughes has yesterday stepped down from the Fire Authority. The Kirklees councillor has decided not to stand for election again.
Cllr Hughes was elected as the first female leader of WYFRA in 2014 and prior to that she served as the Vice-Chair for two years, as well as previously being the Chair of the Finance and Rescources Committee.
She oversaw a period of change at the service, with several stations, including South Kirkby, Rastrick, Dewsbury, Killingbeck, Shipley and Ossett opening during her time as Chair. She’s also been part of local Government bodies such as the Fire Commission and the new Tri-Service Collaboration Board.
Cllr Hughes also championed diversity within the service, attending the Asian Fire Service Association on our behalf and was a great ambassador of the Living Wage and the ‘Dying to Work’ charter to protect terminally ill workers.
She supported and encouraged more women to consider a career in the Fire Service.
As a mental health champion she attended courses and mindful employer network meetings to make sure the service is up to date with the latest ideas and ways of working.
She showed her commitment to firefighter safety in promoting the More Than a Uniform and Protect the Protectors Campaign and has spent more than one Bonfire Night on the frontline with firefighters to see first-hand what they go through.
Cllr Hughes said: “I would like to thank the Authority members and Members of Parliament who have supported me over the years as well as the two Chief Fire Officers I have worked with- Simon Pilling and John Roberts.”
Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “We thank Councillor Judith Hughes for her dedicated commitment to the Fire Authority over many years. She has vigilantly and professionally carried out the role with integrity, driven by a genuine desire to make West Yorkshire a safer place for communities and to provide firefighters with the best of equipment and working conditions to carry out the job as safely as possible.
“She will be a sad loss to the Fire Authority and the Fire Service alike, but we hope she enjoys her future endeavours and the opportunity to spend more time with her family.”
A new Chair of the Fire Authority will be elected at the annual meeting of the Authority on June 27th.