West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority has appointed a new chief.

John Roberts, who is currently Deputy Chief Fire Officer of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, will replace West Yorkshire’s current Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive of the Service. Simon Pilling, on February 1, 2017.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s (WYFRA) Executive Committee, led by the chairman of the authority, Clr Judith Hughes , managed the selection process.

She said: “While the exceptional quality of candidates made it a difficult decision to make, Mr Roberts proved himself to be outstanding both during interview and on paper.”

CFO Simon Pilling said: “I would like to congratulate Mr Roberts on his appointment and wish him well when he takes the reins next year.

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“ I am confident he will be a real asset to West Yorkshire and that his hopes and ambitions for the Service will bring real benefits to the public we serve.”

Mr Roberts said: “I am looking forward to leading WYFRS, despite the many challenges ahead.

“The fire and rescue service continues to operate in uncertain times, with the requirement to make further savings.

Mr Roberts is married with three young children. As well as a keen football player he is also a fan of Liverpool Football Club.