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Meeting Details

Full Authority
18 Dec 2019 - 10:30 to 12:21
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Visitors
  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Agenda Items
1 Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
234
Apologies were received from Mr R Adams, Ms P Agar, Mr A Amos and Mr R Morris.
2 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.
235

Cllr R Phillips declared that he was a member of the Fire NJC, Fire Pension Scheme Advisory Board and Chairman of the LGPS Scheme Board.

3 Chairman’s Announcements
To update Members on recent activities.
236

The Chairman thanked the fire crews for all their assistance during the floods in October/November this year.

He also informed the Authority of the following:

  • Nigel Snape, Head of Legal Services had been appointed as legal advisor to the LGA/National Employers Advisory Board.
  • An update on the Shropshire Alliance would be provided at the February Authority meeting.
  • He had met with Group Leaders, Officers, Regional and National Fire Bodies since the last Authority meeting.

Members were also reminded that a tour of the Wyre Forest Hub would take place immediately following the close of the meeting.

4 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 13 December 2019). Further details about public participation are available on the website. Enquiries can also be made through the telephone numbers/email listed below.
237
There was no public participation.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2019.
238
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Fire Authority meeting held on 15 October 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

To inform Members of the current position on budgets and expenditure for 2019/20.

239

The Treasurer informed Members of the current position on budgets and expenditure for 2019/20.

The Treasurer made Members aware of the following variations:

1) £0.500m underspending on capital financing charges due to continued delays to the major building programme.

2) £0.285m provision for the back-dating of the still unresolved July 2017 Grey book pay award.

3) £0.130m relating to back-dated injury pensions.

The Treasurer also informed Members that the provisional settlement had still not been received and was now unlikely before Christmas.

A Member requested an analysis of drawing on reserves to be provided to the Authority. The Treasurer confirmed that it was already in the Medium Term Financial Plan.

An update on the building schemes was requested by a Member and the Head of Legal Services assured the Authority that a property update would be provided at the next Policy and Resources Committee meeting.

RESOLVED that the Authority note:

(i)  the position in relation to back-dated injury pensions; and

(ii) the potential transfer to the pay award reserve and the continuing budget risk regarding the pay award.

To update Members on the best practice recommendations from the recent report published by the National Committee on Standards in Public Life and to put forward a revised draft code of conduct for approval.

240

The Head of Legal Services presented a report updating Members on the best practice recommendations from the recent report published by the National Committee on Standards in Public life and put forward a revised draft Code of Conduct for approval, which had been prepared in conjunction with Monitoring Officers across Worcestershire.

A Member queried why the gifts and hospitality register value had increased from £5.00 to £15.00. The Head of Legal Services explained that £5 was previously too low and it had been agreed by Monitoring Officers that £15.00 was a more suitable value threshold for such registration to meet the purpose of transparency.

A Member queried the current meeting venues and why meetings were not balanced between Hereford and Worcester. The Chairman assured Members that there was a long standing agreement that one Authority meeting a year would be held in Hereford.

RESOLVED that the Authority approves the draft code of conduct which has been revised to take into account areas of best practice identified by the National Committee on Standards in Public Life.

To update Members on progress in implementing HMICFRS Improvement Plan.

241

The Deputy Chief Fire Officer updated Members on progress in implementing the HMICFRS Improvement Plan.

Members' attention was drawn to the key points during Quarter 2:

  • Effectiveness - evaluation of Safe and Well Checks and the Dying to Drive programme together with online training for safeguarding and additional domestic abuse training.
  • Efficiency - the Service Delivery structure regarding crewing has been approved, additional staff in the Community risk department have been appointed to work in the areas of prevention and protection.
  • People - Senior Management Board visits and CRMP workshops will continue throughout the Service, with key themes and emerging issues being reviewed. Further promotion processes have continued and on-call charter work is continuing to support the recruitment and retention of on-call operational staff.

There was discussion regarding Grenfell and the Chief Fire Officer assured Members that the Service had regular engagement with the high rise buildings in Worcestershire to ensure effective processes were in place.

RESOLVED that the Authority note progress on actions to deliver the HMICFRS Improvement Plan.

This report is a summary of the Service’s Quarters (Q1-Q2) performance against a comprehensive set of Performance Indicators agreed by Senior Management Board (SMB).
242

At the start of this item, the Chief Fire Officer presented Members with information on the Service's current attendance standard and explained how it is calculated.

Members agreed that the way attendance times are measured needed to be reviewed so that they could be more easily compared with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Authority and that they needed to be understandable, comprehendible and a realistic target.

[Cllr Oborski left the meeting at 11.55am].

The Chief Fire Officer then presented a summary of the Service's Quarters 1 and 2 performance against a comprehensive set of Performance Indicators agreed by the Senior Management Board.

A Member requested more detailed information for cross boundary incidents to be included in the performance statistics.

[Mr Campion left the meeting at 12.10pm and returned at 12.12pm]

[Cllr Hey left the meeting at 12.11pm and returned at 12.12pm]

RESOLVED that:

1. A review of Attendance Standards be undertaken.

2. Members note the following headlines drawn from Appendix 1 relating to performance in Quarters 1-2, 2019-20:

i)    A total of 3,936 incidents were attended in Q1-Q2, a decrease of 3.29% (134 incidents) over the same Quarter of 2018-19, and 5.92% (220 incidents) lower than the average for the last five years. The overall five year trend shows a gradual increase in the total number of incidents.

 

ii)   The majority of the decrease in Q1-Q2 is accounted for by a drop in the numbers of Fire incidents, particularly Primary and Secondary Fire incidents, while the number of Special Service incidents was up:

 

a. Fires: an overall decrease of 24.87% was mainly accounted for by 32.64% decrease in the number of Secondary Fires (220 incidents) and an 18.00% decrease in Primary Fires (115 incidents).

b. Special Services: an increase of 22.28% (211 incidents) was mainly accounted for by a 195.65% increase in the number of Assisting other agencies (135 incidents) and a 28.37% increase in Other Special Services (101 incidents).

c. False Alarms: a decrease of 0.78% (14 incidents), the most frequent automatic activations are at a number of sheltered housing, houses of single occupancy, up to 3 storeys and hospitals.

iii)  Overall Staff Sickness level for Q1-Q2 2019-20 was 4.06 days lost per head with the biggest proportion 2.74 days lost per head for Long Term Sickness.

 

iv)  The Service attended 45.34% (141 incidents) of Primary Building Fires within 10 minutes in Quarters 1-2, compared with 57.30% (208 incidents) in the same period in 2018-19. The average time for the first fire appliance attendance at all Primary Building Fires was 11 minutes for Quarters 1-2 compared with 10 minutes 17 seconds in the same period in 2018-19.

v)   The average for the overall availability of the first On-Call (Retained) fire appliance was 83.92%; however, this has decreased by an average of 3.52% when compared to the same period in 2018-19.

To inform the Committee of the activities of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) since May 2019.

243

The Assistant Chief Fire Officer informed Members of the activities of the Joint Consultative Committee since May 2019.

 

A Member was concerned about the summer leave restriction for firefighters for next year but was reassured by the Assistant Chief Fire Officer that this had now been rectified.

 

RESOLVED that the following items currently under discussion by the Joint Consultative Committee be noted:

  1. 7 Day 42 Hours Flexi System
  2. DCP
  3. Top 12 Policies/SPIs
  4. Equality Impact Assessment – request for SPI
  5. Joint Protocol for TU Duties
  6. Tax Implications for Officers private use of Service Vehicles
  7. Fitness Policy
  8. People Strategy 2020-2022
  9. Equality & Diversity Strategy
  10. Positive Action Strategy
To receive the minutes of the Audit and Standards Committee meeting held on 15 October 2019.
244

The Chairman of the Committee presented the minutes of the Audit and Standards Committee meeting held on 15 October 2019.

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Audit and Standards Committee meeting held on 15 October 2019 be received and noted.

Declarations of Interests

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

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting