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After a sexual harassment investigation, the South Wales Fire Service was taken over.

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Following the release of an incriminating report that revealed a culture of sexual harassment and misogyny throughout the organization, the Welsh government has announced that it is taking over the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Minister Hannah Blythyn stated that urgent action was required in response to management shortcomings found throughout the investigation, which posed serious threats to public safety.

The intervention—which has been deemed extremely critical—shows that the agency was not interested in enhancing firefighting techniques, especially when it came to house fires.

Four commissioners nominated by the government will take over the South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority in order to implement significant changes.

These commissioners will take the lead in implementing management reform and restructuring, which will result in a thorough transformation of the service’s procedures, principles, and culture.

Welsh Women’s Aid commended the government’s dedication to responsibility and safeguarding within public services, even though the service acknowledged the oversight and guidance given by the commissioners.

Investigating under the direction of Fenella Morris KC, the investigation uncovered major shortcomings in the service, such as the acceptance of sexual harassment and domestic violence and prejudice against employees.

Huw Jakeway, the chief fire officer, apologized and declared his resignation in light of the results.

Minister Blythyn nominated Carl Foulkes, Kirsty Williams, Vij Randeniya, and Baroness Wilcox as commissioners, and they are all responsible for putting the required reforms into action.

Minister Blythyn echoed the idea that a leadership change was necessary during the announcement in the Senedd, voicing worries about the service’s rejection of recommendations meant to improve safety and efficiency.

Although there is no timetable for the commissioners’ work, it is anticipated that suggestions will be implemented in around 18 months. The commissioners will have complete authority to establish a constructive, non-discriminatory culture throughout the service.

Welsh Women’s Aid stressed how critical it is to stand for victims, punish offenders responsible, and stop abuses from happening again.

While endorsing the government’s measures, political figures questioned the accountability and control of Wales’ fire services.

The South Wales Fire & Rescue Service responded by restating its dedication to safety and its continuous efforts to implement the suggestions made in the independent culture review study. To make sure all opinions are heard during the reform process, staff consultations on the Draft Action Plan are now in progress.

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