South Yorkshire Governance

About us

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority is a statutory body made up of 12 local councillors from the district councils of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

The primary responsibilities of the authority are laid down in legislation, including the:

  • Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
  • Civil Contingencies Act 2004
  • Local Government Act 1999

The authority provides an effective, economic and efficient fire and rescue service.

Our role

The authority funds South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and works with the Chief Fire Officer. The authority's vision is 'making South Yorkshire safer and stronger' and this is delivered through a range of priorities and performance measures contained within the Community Risk Management Plan.

The authority was established in 1986 following the abolition of the South Yorkshire County Council. It is supported by Barnsley Council’s governance unit.

Find out about the authority constitution or view the publication scheme.

Community Right to Challenge (CRC) - part of the Localism Act

The Right to Challenge is a national process introduced through the government's Localism Act that came into force on 27 June 2012 (the Act itself came into force in November 2011).

The Community Right to Challenge provides an opportunity for voluntary and community groups or local authority employees to bid to run some services provided by the Fire and Rescue Authority. 

You can find out more by visiting our CRC library and downloading the following documents:

  • Community Right to Challenge - general guidance
  • Guide to completing the expression of interest (EOI) form
  • Expression of interest (EOI) form

For more information please email - the authority’s Monitoring Officer.

Complaints about the authority and its staff

The authority has people working for it (called 'officers') to give advice, to implement decisions and to manage the day-to-day delivery of its services. The staff belong to the Joint Authorities Governance Unit which is part of the Legal and Governance Directorate of Barnsley Council.

If you wish to complain about a member of staff or the authority please contact us online.

Insurance arrangements 

The authority's insurance details are as follows:

  • Insured: South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
  • Liability insurers: Zurich Municipal
  • Policy no: QLA-03RA03-0023
  • Address: 1 East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2UA
  • Portal ID number: C00108

Our members

Find out about our members of the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

Members' allowance schemes

The members' allowances scheme (part 7 of the constitution) was adopted by the Fire and Rescue Authority at its meeting on 5 December 2003. Its been increased in accordance with inflation.

The scheme is independently reviewed every four years. The last review was in February 2022.

Any future increases to members' allowances will be linked to the annual percentage salary increase for these groups of employees.

The table below shows the approved level of allowances to be paid to members and co-opted members of the authority with effect from 1 July 2024. This is in accordance with the Local Authorities (Members' Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003.

Amounts paid to members

Special responsibility allowance (SRA) Number of allowances paid Allowance from 1 July 2024
Chair 1 £16,838.83
Vice-Chair 1 £8,418.20
Opposition group leader 1 £4,210.92
Chair – Audit and Governance Committee 1 £4,210.92
Chair – Performance and Scrutiny Board 1 £2,524.61
Chair – Stakeholder Planning Board 1 £2,524.61
Basic allowance (all members) 12 £4,358.50
Independent (co-opted) members – Audit and Governance Committee 3 £562.49
Independent Local Pension Board member 1 £562.49
Chair – Local Pension Board 1 £824.99

In accordance with the requirements of Regulation 16(1) of the Local Authorities (Members Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003, notice is hereby given of the amounts paid by way of allowances to members of the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority during the financial year ending 31 March. View the register of member claims.

Standards and ethics

The Localism Act 2011 introduced new standards arrangements for members of authorities from 1 July 2012. In implementing these new arrangements the authority has:

  • adopted a new code of conduct for members and co-opted members
  • approved arrangements for dealing with breaches of the code
  • set up a register of members' interests
  • appointed an appeals and standards committee

Members' code of conduct

The code requires members to act in conformity with the seven principles of public life:

  • selflessness
  • integrity
  • objectivity
  • accountability
  • openness
  • honesty
  • leadership

It sets out the pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests that members must register and disclose. The interests refer to as disclosable pecuniary interests are specified in statutory regulations.

View South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority's code of conduct within the constitution.

The government have also published guidance for members on the disclosure of interests.

Arrangements for dealing with breaches of the code

Read the arrangements approved by the authority for dealing with alleged breaches of the code.

Appeals and Standards Committee

View the terms of reference for the Appeals and Standards Committee.

How to complain about a member of the authority

If you wish to make a complaint about a member of the authority you can:

Meetings, agendas and documents


South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority members represent the authority on a range of strategic partnerships across South Yorkshire, including:

  • community safety partnerships (CSPs)
  • children and young people trusts and partnerships
  • health and wellbeing boards

Their role is to:

  • help the partnership to be aware of fire and rescue policies, priorities and activity
  • use political influence and knowledge where appropriate
  • ensure that the authority plays a full and equal part in community safety partnerships consistent with its position as a responsible body
  • provide relevant information, eg outcomes of consultation, projects and reviews, and encourage the partnership to take these into account in preparing and implementing strategies
  • support the commissioning of projects and initiatives
  • where appropriate, report on projects that have an impact on community safety, people's living environment, lifestyles and life opportunities, as part of the wider social agenda
  • help identify cross-cutting themes
  • be the means of ensuring that there is a proper two-way flow of information between the authority and strategic partnerships, especially with a view to pursuing complementary aims
  • report to the Fire and Rescue Authority on the work of strategic partnerships as and when appropriate.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have developed partnerships and projects to deliver community safety at the neighbourhood level.

Fire Local Pension Board

Why we have a Local Pension Board

The independent Hutton enquiry into public service pension provision identified a case for stronger governance of all public service pension schemes, and that representatives of the workforce should be formally involved.

The enquiry recommended that every public service pension scheme should have a properly constituted, trained and competent pension board with member nominees responsible for governance and effective administration of the pension scheme.

The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2015 is a national scheme. Locally, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire firefighter pensions are managed by West Yorkshire Pension Fund.

Read about the governance and operation of Local Pension Boards - issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Members, meeting papers and documents

The Local Pension Board meets quarterly and the outcomes of the board’s deliberations are reported to the Fire and Rescue Authority. Technical and professional advice is provided by the pensions administrator, West Yorkshire Pensions Fund (WYPF), who attend the meetings in an advisory capacity. Members of the board will be provided with the necessary knowledge and skills to adequately fulfil the role.

More information

Our documents are reviewed by the administering authority (South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority) on an annual basis.

Key documents and useful links

The Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator is the UK regulator of work-based pension schemes. Their website has information about everything to do with work-based pension schemes.

For more information about our Local Pension Board members please contact us online

Consultation and community engagement

Consulting with communities, staff, businesses and partners is an important part of how the authority develops policies and plans to deliver its services. Consultation and engagement work is overseen by the Fire and Rescue Authority, via the Stakeholder Planning Board.

Consultation may involve face-to-face or online methods of communication, with the aim of informing people about the work of their fire and rescue service and seeking their feedback on its performance and plans for the future. Particular attention is given to making sure the views of a broad range of people are considered, including those with protected characteristics.

How to ask us a question

General information

Questions regarding the work of the Fire and Rescue Authority are welcomed. However, these must relate to an issue that is the responsibility of the authority. If not, the applicant will be advised as to where their question may be more appropriately directed.

If the information is being withheld, the applicant will receive a formal response under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Questions may be submitted:

  • in writing to: The Clerk, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Town Hall, Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2TA.
  • by email to

Contact us online for more information.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including the Fire and Rescue Authority. It sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on the authority, such as:

  • time for compliance
  • the right by an applicant to complain about the handling of their request
  • a code of practice on record keeping

Freedom of Information matters relating to the Fire and Rescue Authority are processed by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

Asking questions at Fire and Rescue Authority meetings

  • A member of the public can attend a meeting of the Fire and Rescue Authority and the Audit and Governance Committee and ask a question of the authority directly.
  • Questions must be received in writing by 5pm at least three clear working days prior to the meeting at which the applicant wants to speak.
  • The applicant must specify their name and address and all questions should be clear, concise and are limited to a maximum of 100 words.
  • The applicant will be notified if the request can or cannot be accepted for the next meeting and, if so, arrangements for attending and asking the question on the day. If it is considered that the applicant's question would be best addressed by officers working in the direction of the Fire and Rescue Authority (for example, a request for technical information), the applicant will be advised accordingly.
  • An applicant can only ask a maximum of two questions in any six-month period.
  • The provision for questions on the agenda will be 15 minutes and at the Chair's discretion.

For more information contact us online.

Spending and performance

Budgets and accounts

For 2023/24 the Fire and Rescue Authority has a budget of £64.2m which was agreed at the authority meeting on 20 February 2023

The authority agreed on a Council Tax increase of £5 for 2023/24. The budget has been set against a total funding allocation of £62.9m and the use of earmarked reserves of £1.42m.  

Read the full report from the authority meeting on 20 February 2023 (see item 11).

What will the money be spent on?

The budget is planned to be spent as follows:

Cost Total (£m)
Operational staff 40.1
Support staff 10.0
Indirect staff costs 2.0
Transport 1.3
Premises 4.5
Supplies and services 4.0
Capital financing costs 2.5
Income -1.1
Total 64.2

Who pays?

The Fire and Rescue Authority's budget comes from a variety of sources: 

Source Total (£m)
Local taxpayers 30.9
Revenue support grant 9.6
Business rates 16.2
Other income 6.1
Reserves -1.4
Total 64.2

In accordance with the accounts and audit regulations, the authority must submit its draft statement of accounts to its external auditors before the end of May each year. The authority must also approve its audited statement of accounts annually by the end of July.

The statement of accounts and summary accounts for the last three years are available in the FRA library.    

Payments to suppliers over £500

In summer 2010 the government announced its intention that all public bodies should publish details of all its expenditure over £500. View all invoices paid by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue over £500.

Scrutiny and audit

Our vision: making South Yorkshire safer and stronger

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority provides leadership and direction to the fire and rescue service in producing its operational plan (known as the Community Risk Management Plan).

The Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) sets out our values and priorities. It also details our performance, and how we intend to play our part in improving the safety and quality of life for people who live and work across South Yorkshire.

The service has created a short video which explains what a Community Risk Management Plan is. 

The plans can be provided in different formats and languages by calling (0114) 253 2232.

Accountability for our performance

Locally, the Fire and Rescue Authority provides an overview and challenge on the service's plans, policies, strategies and performance. A separate Performance and Scrutiny Board meets quarterly to provide more detailed scrutiny across all these areas, as well as conducting more in-depth reviews as appropriate.  South Yorkshire's scrutiny arrangements were established in 2008. This is prior to the statutory requirement for all fire and rescue services to have a separate scrutiny function, which is required by the Fire and Rescue National Framework.

Inspection of fire and rescue services is carried out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS). The first round of inspections for the service took place in 2018. Read more about HMICFRS inspections and see copies of the reports. 


The Fire and Rescue Authority is subject to both internal and external audit.

  • Internal audit is an independent function responsible for the effective review of all aspects of risk management and control through the Authority's activities in order to give an annual opinion on the internal control arrangements.

    The internal audit function for the Fire and Rescue Authority and fire and rescue service is provided by RSM UK Ltd, who were appointed in 2019.

  • External audit is responsible for the statutory audit of the authority's accounts and financial statements, including giving an annual opinion on them and also providing a conclusion on the value for money arrangements.

    The external audit function is currently provided by Deloitte LLP from 2018 to 2019 for a five year period.

Audit and Governance Committee independent members

The Audit and Governance Committee includes three independent members who are recruited and appointed through an advertisement and interview process.

The role is filled by members of the public in contrast to the elected members (councillors) who sit on the committee. There is an agreed role profile with criteria that is assessed by an evaluation panel.

Audit and Governance Committee role

The work of independent members includes providing independent assurance of the effectiveness of:

  • the governance arrangements of the authority
  • the authority's risk management framework
  • the authority's financial management processes and the way this relates to the performance of services

They attend six scheduled meetings of the Audit and Governance Committee per year, as well as preparing and contributing to those meetings. Members also undertake a rolling learning and development programme to add to their skills and knowledge alongside our Fire and Rescue Authority members.

Independent members receive an allowance of £481 per annum.


Independent members serve no more than two terms of four years (eight years in total). At the end of the first four years, there is an agreed appraisal process conducted by the Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee who makes a recommendation to the Fire and Rescue Authority as to the suitability of the member to continue to their second term.

Audit and risk management

The Association of Local Authority Risk Managers (ALARM) recommend that all corporate bodies should assess business risks and put in place control measures to reduce or eliminate risks via a published risk register.

'Corporate risk' means those risks that would seriously affect the authority's ability to achieve its objectives. The authority and service have a joint corporate risk register which is submitted to the Audit and Governance Committee on a quarterly basis.

The authority's operational plan (Community Risk Management Plan), which is primarily focused on the delivery of the operational elements of the fire and rescue service sits alongside the Strategic Plan.