About Us

Meeting Details

Full Authority
27 Jun 2017 - 10:30 to 13:30
Occurred
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Visitors
  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Agenda Items
To elect a Chairman of the Authority.
130
Resolved that Mr R J Phillips be elected as Chairman of the Fire Authority for the ensuing year, to hold office until his successor becomes entitled to act.
To elect a Vice Chairman of the Authority.
131
Resolved that Mr P A Tuthill be elected as Vice-Chairman of the Fire Authority for the ensuing year, to hold office until his successor becomes entitled to act.
3 Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
4 Declarations of Interest (if any)
This item allows the Chairman to invite any Councillor to declare an interest in any of the items on this Agenda.
5 Chairman’s Announcements
To update Members on recent activities.
132

The Chairman informed the Authority of the following events he had attended recently:

• PCC preliminary talks on 27 April.
• Young Firefighters Association passing out parade on 13 May.
• Memorial Service at the Arboretum on 14 May.
• PCC briefing on 1 June.
• Members’ Induction on 12 June.
• Group Leaders’ meeting on 13 June.
• Meeting with the Chairman of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

Members were also informed that the purchase of the land at Stourport Road, Kidderminster for the new Wyre Forest Hub had been completed on 21 June.

Finally, Members were advised that the forthcoming Audit and Standards Committee meeting scheduled for 5 July had been cancelled.

6 Public Participation
To allow a Member of the public to present a petition, ask a question or make a statement relating to any topic concerning the duties and powers of the Authority.

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal Services in writing or by email indicating both the nature and content of their proposed participation to be received no later than 2 clear working days before the meeting (in this case 22 June 2017). Further details about public participation are available on the website. Enquiries can also be made through the telephone numbers/email listed below.
133

Mr Andrew Davies, a retired firefighter of 31 years, 9 years of which were based at Malvern and a council tax payer in Malvern for 12 years requested to speak to the Authority to voice his opposition to the proposed changes to fire cover for the citizens of Malvern.

Mr Davies commented that he was unhappy that it had been stated the proposed changes would not affect emergency cover, when in his opinion they clearly would. Mr Davies argued that:

  • fire cover provided by retained firefighters could not be guaranteed and would therefore reduce the emergency response;
  • retained firefighters trained for less hours each week than their wholetime counterparts who worked 42 hours each week, thereby building up greater knowledge and better team working relationships;
  • there would be a lack of water/rope rescue during the night and weekend as specialist teams would not be available; and
  • the proposals would increase risk to local residents when combined with additional housing proposed under the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

The Chairman indicated that as the crewing arrangements were being discussed later on the agenda, Mr Davies' representations would be taken into consideration at that point.

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2017.
134
Resolved that the minutes of the meeting of the Fire Authority held on 15 February 2017 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To consider the allocation of seats on Committees to political groups and to authorise the Head of Legal Services, following consultation with Group Leaders, to make appointments to those committees.
135

A report was presented on the allocation of Committee seats to political groups and which sought to make appointments to those Committees.

Resolved that:
i) the number of seats on each Committee and the allocation of those seats to political groups be as follows:

Group

Appointments Committee

Audit & Standards Committee

Policy & Resources Committee

Conservative

4

8

9

Labour

1

1

2

Independent

1

1

1

2017

1

1

1

Non Aligned

0

1

0

(Total)

7

12

13

ii) the following Members be appointed as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the following Committees:


a. Appointments Committee:

Chairman: Mr R J Phillips

Vice-Chairman: Mr P Tuthill


b. Audit and Standards Committee

Chairman: Mr M Hart

Vice-Chairman: Mr A Amos


c. Policy and Resources Committee

Chairman: Mr C B Taylor

Vice-Chairman: Mr R C Adams

iii) in accordance with the wishes of Group Leaders, membership of Committees be as set out in Appendix 1 of the minutes;

iv) non-aligned Member Cllr J L V Kenyon be appointed to the Audit and Standards Committee;

v) Ms P Agar and Mrs F M Oborski be appointed to the Organisational Development Group;

vi) Mr B Clayton be appointed to the Health and Safety Committee; and

vii) Mr T Baker-Price be appointed as the Chairman to the Young Firefighters’ Association Executive Committee.

To consider appointments to the Local Government Association and to the Place Partnership Ltd. Shareholder Group.
136

A report was presented to consider appointments to the Local Government Association and to the Place Partnership Ltd. Shareholder Group.

RESOLVED that:

i) the previous practice for representation and voting on the Local Government Association be continued as follows:

a. that the Authority’s four representatives on the Local Government Association should be the Leaders of each of the current four political groups or their nominees;

b. that the 13 Service votes on the Local Government Association Assembly be allocated between its representatives on a politically proportionate basis as follows:

     Conservative Group         9

Labour Group                   2

Independent Group          1

2017 Group                        1

 

Total                                   13;


c. the corporate vote on the Local Government Association Assembly be exercised by the Chairman or his nominee;

ii) the place and vote on the Local Government Association Fire Commission be exercised by the Chairman of the Authority; and

iii) the Chairman be appointed as the Member representative on the Place Partnership Ltd. Shareholder Group.


To receive financial results for 2016/17 and to approve treatment of financial variations.
137

A report was presented with the financial results for 2016/17. Members were reminded that although this subject is normally a matter for the Policy and Resources Committee, the Committee did not meet between the end of the financial year and the date by which the Statement of Accounts had to be submitted.

With regard to the Revenue Budget, Members' attention was drawn to the increased underspend of £0.522m, the increased Funding Grants of £0.886m and how this variation had impacted on the use of earmarked reserves. Members were also advised of a typographical error in the report at paragraph 14, b), that the change variation for the delays in delivery of services as a result of staff retention and recruitments was actually -0.131m, rather than +£0.131m as stated.

Following a question from a Member it was confirmed that there was currently £1.2m in the extract of reserves detailed in Appendix 2 of the report.

Finally, Members were advised that the Authority's finances were well controlled and that, despite late one-off items, the resultant under spending was part of a planned response to known future budget constraints.

RESOLVED that:

i) the provisional financial results for 2016/17 be noted;
ii) £0.033m be transferred to an ICT Reserve;
iii) additional £0.791m be transferred to the existing £0.500m ESMCP Reserve previously approved by the Policy and Resources Committee;
iv) £1.063m being the balance of the underspend be transferred to the Budget Reduction Reserve; and
v) the re-alignment of reserves as set out in Appendix 2 of the report be approved.


To inform Members of the progress of the proposals to maintain a crew of 5 on wholetime based fire engines.
138

The Authority had previously instructed officers to bring forward options to deliver crewing with 5 firefighters on wholetime appliances rather than 4 at no additional cost.  Members were informed of the progress with the review of crewing systems that was currently being carried out following the mandate provided by the Authority.

It was reported that officers had carried out a series of visits to the potentially affected stations to present proposals and to engage with staff to discuss them, identify issues and alternative approaches. Consultation had also been carried out with representative bodies.

Members were advised that out of the two responses received from the representative bodies during the initial consultation period, a number of issues were identified but no alternative solutions were provided for consideration.  The issues raised by representative bodies were fully considered and responded to in writing by the Chief Fire Officer.

In response to the points raised under public participation, the Chief Fire Officer confirmed that day crewed staff at Malvern worked 35 hours per week on station and that there were a range of retained firefighters who had specialist skills. 

Members discussed at length the proposals and requested a full briefing prior to a further report to be considered at a future Authority meeting.

RESOLVED that:

i) it be noted that

    a) the crewing proposals presented to the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) on     27 March 2017 meet the aim of providing sustainable, high quality firefighting,     rescue and preventative services;

    b) the crewing proposals presented to the JCC on 27 March 2017 meet the     objective of providing a crew of 5 on wholetime appliances across the Service and     other identified objectives;

    c) an initial consultation over the crewing proposals ended on 1 May 2017 and that     two responses were received;

    d) discussions with Representative Bodies are underway regarding the proposed     crewing systems; and

    e) negotiations into contractual issues will commence as soon as discussions on     the systems have concluded.

ii) officers continue with the review of crewing; and 

iii) Members receive a full briefing on the crewing proposals prior to a further report with a view to implementation of any crewing changes.

This report is a summary of the Service’s Quarter 1 to Quarter 4 (Q1 to Q4) performance against a comprehensive set of Performance Indicators agreed by the Senior Management Board (SMB).
139

The annual performance for 2016-17 was presented to the Authority using the set of Performance Indicators agreed by the Senior Management Board.

[Councillor Fry left the room at 11.34am and returned at 11.39am].

A Member queried the use of different water rescue equipment available at stations and it was agreed that a briefing would be arranged for the Member to provide further detail.

Members also queried the number of false alarms the Service attended and officers confirmed that the Service worked closely with the premise owners to avoid repeated call outs.

[Councillor Baker left the room at 11.58am and returned at 12.01pm].

At 12.04pm the Chairman agreed to hold a short break.

The meeting continued at 12.10pm.

RESOLVED that the Authority notes the following headlines drawn from Appendix 1 relating to performance in Quarter 1 to Quarter 4, 2016-17:

i) A total of 6,749 incidents were attended in Q1 to Q4, an increase of 5.7% (290 incidents) over the same period in 2015-16, and 3.3% (223 incidents) higher than the average for the last five years.

ii) The majority of the increase in Q1 to Q4 is accounted for by a rise in the numbers of Special Service and False Alarm incidents, while the number of Fire incidents was down:

a. Special Services: there was an increase of 71 incidents over the twelve month period. This is predominantly accounted for by increases in the number of animal assistance incidents (46 incidents), and Other Special Services such as, lift rescues, spills and leaks (non-RTC), provision of advice and assisting other agencies (80 incidents).

b. False Alarms: there was an increase of 252 incidents over the twelve month period in all types of False Alarm incidents. This is mainly because of an increase in automatic activations of inbuilt fire alarms systems (197 incidents).

c. Fires: a decrease of 33 incidents for this period over the previous year is largely accounted for by a fall in the number of Secondary Fires (down by 23 incidents) with fewer outdoor fires in a wetter than usual late spring/early summer period.

iii) The number of Fires, Special Service and False Alarm incidents has stayed relatively consistent over the last 5 years.

iv) Overall Staff Sickness levels are 6.08 days lost per head, which remains within tolerance levels set (see paragraph 3 below) for Q1 to Q4.

v) The Service attended 58.2% (384 incidents) of Building Fires within 10 minutes in Q1 to Q4 compared with 60.2% in the same period in 2015-16. The average time for the first fire appliance attendance at all building fires was ten minutes and thirty-six seconds.

vi) The overall availability of the first On-Call (Retained) fire appliance remains high at 91.8%; this has increased by 0.8% compared to the same period in 2015-16.

To adopt the Fire Authority Annual Report 2017-18 and approve for publication.

140

The Fire Authority's Annual Report 2017-18 was presented for adoption and approval for publication.

Members agreed to the publication of the Report and requested a PDF file be sent to local libraries and to Members to enable the document to be shared with the public more easily.

RESOLVED that the Authority adopts the draft Fire Authority Annual Report 2017-18 and approves it for publication, subject to any final minor changes as agreed by the Chief Fire Officer in consultation with the Chairman.

The Chief Fire Officer will give a presentation on the following matters:

• Blackpole Trading Estate – ArrowXL Fire
• Service Exercise – Sennybridge Camp
• UKRO Challenge
• National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC)
• Saving More Lives
• PCC Business Case
• National Security – HWFRS Response

141

The Chief Fire Officer presented recent key developments and activities, which included:

• Blackpole Trading Estate – ArrowXL Fire
• Service Exercise
• UKRO Challenge
• National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC)
• Saving More Lives
• PCC Business Case
• National Security – HWFRS Response
• Grenfell Tower Fire

Members were advised that the Service's Critical Incident Support Team had offered to assist the London firefighters following the Grenfell Tower Fire. The Chief Fire Officer had made contact with London Fire Brigade and their offer of help was acknowledged. 

A Member thanked the Service for providing immediate reassurance to the residents in the high rise buildings in St John's, Worcester following the Grenfell Tower fire.

To consider the reallocation of areas of responsibility from Policy and Resources to Audit and Standards Committee.
143

A report was presented to consider the reallocation of areas of responsibility from Policy and Resources Committee to Audit and Standards Committee.

Members were advised that the proposed reallocation of areas of responsibility and amended Terms of Reference were designed to ensure a balanced workload across the committees enabling effective and efficient decision making.

RESOLVED that:

i) the following areas of responsibility be reallocated to Audit and Standards Committee from Policy and Resources Committee:

• Equality & Diversity;
• Health & Safety; and
• Employment Monitoring.

ii) the amended Terms of Reference for Audit and Standards Committee, as set out in Appendix 2 of the report, be approved.

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2017.
144

The Chairman of the Committee reported the proceedings of the Policy and Resources Committee meeting held on 22 March 2017.

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Policy and Resources Committee meeting held on 22 March 2017 be received and noted.

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 12 April 2017.
145

A Member of the Committee reported the proceedings of the Audit and Standards Committee meeting held on 12 April 2017.

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Audit and Standards Committee meeting held on 12 April 2017 be received and noted.

18 PCC Business Case

To discuss the PCC Business Case with Members (please bring your copy of the Business Case).

142

The Chairman agreed to consider this item earlier than had been published on the agenda to provide those Members who had to leave the meeting due to other commitments with an opportunity to be involved in the debate.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) presented an overview of his business case in relation to the future governance of local fire and rescue services.

There was a widespread view amongst Members that there was a lack of detail contained in the business case.  The Chairman stated that he had received feedback from the four Constituent Authority Leaders and that they were supportive of the two fire authorities obtaining independent analysis of the business case.

RESOLVED that Members note the Constituent Authority Leaders' concerns regarding the lack of detail in the PCC business case and that given the existing savings identified in the three organisations and the additional cuts proposed in the PCC business case, the Authority work with Shropshire Fire Authority on an independent assessment of the PCC proposal`s impact on the delivery of fire, rescue and prevention services in the two service areas.

Members Induction
A follow-up session to the Members' Induction held on 12 June will follow the meeting.

Additional Meeting Documents

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Also in attendance at the above meeting was Police & Crime Commissioner John Campion.