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Herts County Council appoints new director of community protection and fire and rescue service chief



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A former Metropolitan Police officer will be Hertfordshire County Council's new director of community protection – and a new fire and rescue service chief, who will report into him, has been named.

The appointments of Alex Woodman and Chris Bigland respectively follow the retirement of Darryl Keen, who held both roles.

Mr Woodman, currently director of public protection and licensing at Westminster City Council, will take up his community protection director role at the end of August. His recent experience includes acting as chief of staff to London-wide strategic co-ordination and recovery groups related to the coronavirus pandemic and the Grenfell Tower fire.

Alex Woodman (47947420)
Alex Woodman (47947420)

The county council’s employment committee formally agreed his appointment as the culmination of a process that included a national search, assessments and interviews with a panel of external partners and a panel of council staff.

The community protection directorate at County Hall is in charge of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), trading standards and the community safety unit.

Mr Bigland, currently deputy chief fire officer, moves one rung up the ladder to chief fire officer. He will report to Mr Woodman.

Chris Bigland (47947418)
Chris Bigland (47947418)

Cllr Richard Roberts, leader of the council, said: “Both bring a wealth of experience and exemplary service and I'm very pleased that they will be taking up these roles.

"As well as responding to emergencies, the department has vital prevention and protection responsibilities to keep residents, communities and businesses safe, and we look forward to working closely with Alex and Chris to continue this important work.”



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