Members Appointed to the SFRS Board

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The Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham MSP, announced the appointments of Brian Baverstock, Lesley Bloomer, Malcolm Payton, Mhairi Wylie, Nicholas Barr MBE and Tim Wright as Members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Board.

Ms Denham says:

‘‘I very much welcome these six new members to the SFRS Board and I am sure that SFRS will benefit hugely from their wide range of experience and expertise. By the time all new members are on the Board in October 2018 it will mean that, including its Chair, there will continue to be an equal gender split on the SFRS Board. I wish all the appointees well in their new posts."

Dr Kirsty Darwent, Chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board says:

“I am delighted to welcome such a wealth of talent, experience and knowledge to the Board of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Our new Board Members join at a pivotal point in the Service’s history, which sees us transforming to do so much more for the people of Scotland. The Service has a proven track record of delivering public value and our Board will continue to play a role not only in governance, scrutiny and transparency, but will actively help to shape effective decision-making in the organisation.”


Brian Baverstock is a qualified accountant and independent consultant specialising in public sector governance and risk management.  Before setting up his own business Brian had a long career in the public sector in Scotland, most recently at the Scottish Funding Council where his responsibilities included oversight of the standards of governance and financial and academic performance of Scotland’s universities and colleges. Throughout much of his career Brian has been involved in public sector reform. As the founding Chief Executive of APUC Ltd, the procurement Centre of Expertise for Scotland’s universities and colleges, he led a transformational change programme to deliver significant improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement activity across these sectors. Brian has 10 years’ experience as a non-executive director in the public and voluntary sectors.  He is currently on the Board of the Scottish Legal Aid Board and the Donaldson Trust. 

Lesley Bloomer has wide ranging leadership experience in Scotland’s public sector. She was an Executive Director responsible for Economy, Neighbourhood and Environment functions with a local authority. This role involved substantial transformation work as services sought to improve performance despite reducing budgets. Lesley was also responsible in this job for liaison with emergency services.  Lesley was a Director with Audit Scotland covering performance across Economy, Education and Justice policy areas in Scotland. This work led to her acting as an adviser to organisations on how to improve their performance. Lesley is an experienced non-executive director, and was formerly Deputy Chair of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and a board member of the Care Commission.

Malcolm Payton began his career as a teacher of mathematics, moving to ICT as developments in technology provided opportunities to develop innovative approaches.  He spent more than ten years in senior roles in education that included being Head of a group of schools, Local Authority Head of Education and Professional Advisor to the Scottish Government Education Department.  Since 2007, Malcolm has worked independently, supporting education system development in the UK, Middle East and Asia.  His main interest is in how the symbiotic relationship between strategy and operational practice can be leveraged to deliver sustainable change.  Malcolm also helps lead local youth groups.  He is a Trustee of Capability Scotland and of Scotdec, which promotes the UN Sustainable Development Goals in education.

Mhairi Wylie graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2004 and has since that time been actively involved and employed in the third sector, undertaking various roles and activities.  She currently works as the Chief Officers with Highland Third Sector Interface and prior to that worked with Ross and Cromarty CAB for seven years, the final four as Manager.  Mhairi has also previously sat on the Board of Ros-shire Womens Aid and was a Member of the Children’s Panel in Highland, retiring in 2015.

Nicholas Barr MBE is a former British Red Cross UK director for ambulance and first aid services.  He has over 30 years’ experience in operational and emergency service delivery and leadership in the public and 3rd sectors, including the Royal Air Force and the Scottish Ambulance Service as a divisional manager.  He has recent leadership experience in large-scale change management and clinical governance.  He was awarded an MBE in 2002.  Nick is also a voluntary director in the Scottish Orienteering Association.

Tim Wright is an experienced management consultant having worked with a number of high profile professional service firms and having held senior roles in several private sector companies.  He is currently a Director of a consultancy which he co-founded.  An acknowledged thinker and practitioner in the emerging field of the crowd economy, Tim is a published author, an experienced speaker and is Chair of the Deans Board at ULSB, and an Advisor to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge.


The appointments will be for four years. Brian Baverstock, Nicholas Barr and Tim Wright will run from 30th July 2018 to 29th July 2022 and Lesley Bloomer, Malcolm Payton and Mhairi Wylie will run from 24th October 2018 to 23rd October 2022.

The appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.


The appointments are part-time and attracts a remuneration of £280 per day for a time commitment of five days per month.


Brian Baverstock is a Member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, for which he receives remuneration of £216.40 per day, for a time commitment of up to four days per month.

Lesley Bloomer, Malcolm Payton, Mhairi Wylie, Nicholas Barr MBE and Tim Wright do not hold any other ministerial public appointments.


All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.   

Brian Baverstock, Lesley Bloomer, Malcolm Payton, Mhairi Wylie, Nicholas Barr MBE and Tim Wright have had no political activity within the last five years.


Find out more about SFRS Board here