A former Lancashire fire chief who caused controversy by rejoining the brigade after retiring has landed a new government job.
Peter Holland will succeed Sir Ken Knight in the role of Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser to the Government on Monday.
The senior civil servant role attracts a salary of around £165,000.
Mr Holland was criticised by a taxpayers’ group in 2011 after he retired from Lancashire Fire and Rescue and took a £425,000 lump sum pension payment, but immediately returned to work in the same role on a £75,000 salary, a move agreed by the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority.
The decision was defended by political leaders who said it represented a 50% salary cut for Mr Holland that would save the local authority money.
Under his new two-year contract, Mr Holland will provide advice to senior officials and ministers on fire policy and safety and on national emergencies.
Mr Holland, who has 40 years experience in the sector, said: “I am honoured to be joining the department in this important role and am looking forward to bringing my experience in fire and rescue to help support and shape the government’s agenda for what is a vital and life-saving public service.”
Fire Minister Brandon Lewis added: “Fire and rescue authorities deliver incredibly important local services and play a vital role in national resilience.
“Peter’s appointment is crucial to helping them do this as well as supporting key policies such as the decentralisation of power from Whitehall, promoting local accountability and transparency and helping fire and rescue authorities be as efficient as possible.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnson tweeted his congratulations, saying: “Delighted to formally hear Peter Holland has been appointed as Chief Fire Advisor.”