Agenda and minutes

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority
Thursday, 24th January, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Wellington Room - HCC. View directions

Contact: Email: members.services@hants.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

148.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

All Members were present and no apologies were noted.

149.

Declarations of Interest

To enable Members to disclose to the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest they may have in any matter on the agenda for the meeting, where that interest is not already entered in the Authority’s register of interests, and any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests in any such matter that Members may wish to disclose.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were mindful of their duty to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest they had in any matter on the agenda for the meeting, where that interest was not already entered in the Authority's register of interests, and their ability to disclose any other personal interests in any such matter that they might have wished to disclose.

150.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting

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Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting were reviewed and agreed.

151.

Deputations

Pursuant to Standing Order 19, to receive any deputations to this meeting

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no deputations received for this meeting.

152.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.

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Minutes:

The Chairman congratulated the newly appointed Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Steve Apter, following a national recruitment campaign. A full handover would be organised ahead of Andy Bowers’ retirement in June. Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin shared that there had been a good response to the advert, which proved that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service was held in high regard and he looked forward to working with Steve Apter, who was highly experienced.

 

Cllr Rhydian Vaughan was congratulated for being made a Member of the British Empire for his public and political services. Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andy Bowers and Firefighter Jasper Taylor were also recognised for their dedication with the Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service.

 

The Chairman announced that a ‘Dying To Work’ protocol had been signed at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, which was focussed on giving appropriate support to employees and their families who were terminally ill. The Fire Authority all sent its condolences to Firefighter David Barker’s family, after David’s recent passing.

 

The Chairman confirmed that future meetings of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority would take place at Service Headquarters, Eastleigh, in the new building and a tour for Members would take place in due course. An official opening was planned for later in the year.

 

153.

Member developments and comments

To receive any updates from Members of the Authority

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Minutes:

Cllr Vaughan confirmed that an initial meeting regarding performance management had taken place with Shantha Dickinson and another was arranged for February.

154.

Proposed Creation of a new Combined Fire Authority (CFA) to include the Local Authority areas of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer, which details the outcomes of the formal public consultation exercise on the proposed creation of a new fire authority for Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton and Hampshire.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Authority considered a report from the Chief Fire Officer (item 7 in the Minute Book) regarding the proposed creation of a new combined fire authority for the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton and Hampshire. The proposals followed a business case put forward to the Authority on the 14 June 2018 and a subsequent twelve week consultation across all of the authorities areas.

 

The consultation had resulted in 311 responses, 300 of which were from individuals. Whilst this was a proportionally low response, representing circa. 0.015% of the areas population, it was seen as reassuring that there was apparent little concern from the public regarding the proposals. All views submitted had been analysed and considered, and 53% of the responses were in support of the proposals.

 

The Chief Fire Officer emphasised that whilst the concerns raised were proportionally low, all had been addressed within the report and the majority were a result of a lack of understanding as to the arrangements proposed.

 

Discussion pertaining Paragraph 24 in the report summarised the risks and benefits to the proposed combined fire authority, but emphasised the top priority for officers was to protect the public and maintain an effective Fire Service, with efficiency and effectiveness being immediate benefits.

 

The Chief Finance Officer took Members through the finance section of the report and highlighted the fourth bullet point in paragraph 37, which confirmed just over £4m of liabilities that would need addressing over the next five years. This had reduced by £1m from previously presented figures due to further work on the vehicle programme. The liabilities are what was expected and whilst the business case would need updating for 2019/20, most positions would stay the same with no material impact. Should the proposals be agreed, the Home Office would be approached regarding funding to cover the transitional arrangements.

 

The possible governance and proportionality arrangements were addressed in paragraph 49 of the report, and Members were reassured that this was something that would be managed at a later date, in consultation with the Home Office. All views would be taken into account and nothing was yet affirmed regarding the proportionality.

 

In debate, some Members shared their concerns regarding the finance aspects of the proposals and the impacts these would have on Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), as HFRS had good budgets and reserves for work and improvements to Hampshire stations. It was questioned whether the money Hampshire tax payers had paid should be spent on stations on the Isle of Wight that needed more urgent attention. The Chief Finance Officer reassured the Authority that technically no money was explicitly put aside for station improvements, and this was currently covered by borrowing built into the Medium Term Financial Plan. It was hoped that the Home Office would be able to offer upfront financial support, but formal talks could not take place until a proposal was approved and ready to take forward.

 

The concerns raised by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) on page 84 of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 154.

155.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To resolve that the public be excluded from the meeting during the following

items of business, as it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be

transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt

information within Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local

Government Act 1972, and further that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons set out in the reports.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no need to exclude press and public at the meeting, but had it been required, this would have been done due to the likeliness, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public had been present during this item there would have been disclosure to them of exempt information within Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, and further that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons set out in the minute.

 

156.

Exempt Minute from the 5 December Full Authority Meeting

To approve the exempt Minute from the 5 December Full Authority meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minute from the 5 December 2018 Full Authority meeting was approved in open session.