09:48AM, Wednesday 03 July 2013
The man who guided the county's fire authority during a decade long stand-off over the future of the Windsor service has retired.
Iain Cox has been Berkshire's chief fire officer for 10 years. During most of that time councillors representing the Royal Borough on the Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service have been at loggerheads with members from other parts of the county. The split formed over plans to sell off Windsor fire station in Alma Road.
The battle was only resolved last year, when a compromise involving the sale of the existing fire station and the establishment of a new one on council owned land at Tinkers Lane was agreed.
But the dispute was forgotten on Sunday when Mr Cox retired and friends and colleagues praised his calm, dedicated approach to the job.
The chairman of the Fire Authority Cllr Colin Dudley paid tribute to Mr Cox, saying: "Iain has set the bar at an extremely high level. His outstanding dedication, knowledge and leadership has seen the Fire and Rescue service through some of the most challenging years in its history.
“His wisdom, his kindness and support for all of his staff, coupled with his mischievous sense of humour, made him very popular."
Acting Chief Fire Officer Olaf Baars said: “Iain has been a steady hand on the helm for a decade and understood RBFRS as do few others. He has played a key part in raising the profile of domestic sprinkler installation.
He has made an enormous contribution to public safety in Berkshire and we wish him and his wife Jane an enjoyable time together in retirement.”
Iain joined RBFRS in 1979 and was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in 2009.
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.