Agenda and minutes

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority
Wednesday, 5th June, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Room X - HFRS HQ, Eastleigh. View directions

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

Media

Items
No. Item

181.

Election of Chairman

To appoint a Chairman until the Annual Meeting of the Authority in 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Carter was proposed by Councillor Fairhurst and seconded by Cllr Chadd for the position of Chairman of the Fire Authority for 2019-20. In the absence of further nominations, Councillor Carter was duly appointed.

182.

Election of Vice Chairman

To appoint a Vice Chairman until the Annual Meeting of the Authority in 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Roz Chadd was proposed by Councillor Carter and seconded by Councillor Fairhurst for the position of Vice Chairman of the Fire Authority for 2019-20. In the absence of further nominations, Councillor Carter was duly appointed.

183.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Rhydian Vaughan and Councillor Jason Fazackarley.

184.

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.

185.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 3 April 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that a template issue had reinstated the incorrect details regarding the meeting location at the top of the minutes and this was being investigated. The minutes of the last meeting were then reviewed and agreed.

186.

Deputations

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no deputations for the meeting.

187.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Cllr Tig Outlaw from the Isle of Wight Council to the meeting.

Andy Bowers, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer, was thanked on behalf of the Fire & Rescue Authority for over 30 years of service. It was noted that during Andy’s time he had dealt with large incidents, devised new strategies and been key in driving up national standards in command and decision making. Officers and Members wished Andy all the best for the future.

 

The Chairman also welcomed Steve Apter to the Service as the new Deputy Chief Fire Officer whose credentials and experience will be an asset to his colleagues and the people of Hampshire.

 

Members were updated on progress regarding the Combined Fire Authority (CFA). The submission had been lodged with the office of the Home Secretary on 30 May 2019, which was a significant step and the result of a number of years of increasingly close ties and collaboration between the Isle of Wight Council and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority. Members would be kept updated on any further progress.

 

The Chairman spoke of a recent fire at Canberra Towers in Southampton, which had been contained to one flat due to sprinklers helping keep the fire under control until the Fire Service arrived. The case was being used as a national example to press for a change in legislation requiring sprinklers to be fitted retrospectively in all large dwellings like Canberra Towers. Councillor Sharon Mintoff confirmed that the fire was contained to the kitchen of the flat and sprinklers were being fitted retrospectively to Southampton City Council blocks.

188.

Member developments and comments

To receive any updates from Members of the Authority.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members agreed that a more appropriate title for this item would be discussed at a future APAG meeting.

 

Councillor Roger Price had attended the Fire Commission and updated Members on ‘Reform Programme’ and ‘Spending Review’ presentations by Luke Edwards, Director of Fire and Resilience at the Home Office. This included the three pillars that had been identified as part of the Reform agenda:  Efficiency & Collaboration, Accountability & Transparency and Workforce Reform. There had also been a presentation from Rod MacLean, Head of the Fire Safety Unit discussing the Hackett review and a forthcoming building safety consultation paper. There were anticipated to be changes as part of building regulations but it was unclear what these would entail at this stage.

 

 

There was discussion on Blue Light Collaboration as part of the Efficiency & Collaboration pillar in the Reform Programme. The Chief Fire Officer confirmed that anything that needed discussion on a more informal basis would be brought to Members’ attention at APAG meetings and the Authority would continue to work closely with the Local Government Association (LGA).

 

Councillor Sharon Mintoff had attended the Prince’s Trust event, which celebrated the successes of young people.

189.

Review of Trading Company Governance pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer, which informs and provide recommendations to the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA) in relation to the governance arrangements of the HFRA trading company.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Carter and Councillor Roger Price declared personal interests as Directors of 3SFire Ltd

 

The Authority considered a report from the Clerk to the Authority (item 9 in the minute book) regarding Trading Company Governance around 3SFire Ltd. This followed the paper considered by the HFRA in April 2019 in relation to the Grant Thornton Report entitled “Creating and Operating a Successful Fire Trading Company”.

 

Whilst the governance of 3SFire Ltd had been satisfactory, it was agreed that improvements could be made to bring it in line with the recommended good practice. Rather than have Members sit as Directors on 3SFire Ltd, it was proposed that Members be appointed to a Shareholder Committee, which would discharge all functions of the Authority as shareholder of 3SFire Ltd and review the Articles of Association and pass resolutions to update the Articles as necessary. The Shareholder Committee would not need to meet often and so would reduce the time demand on Members regarding the company.

 

Once established, the Shareholder Committee would oversee a selection process and further review of board members.  It was proposed to change the Directors appointed to the board to ensure stability, legal compliance and oversight while the permanent governance is put in place.

 

Members were happy with the proposals within the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Option 1 of paragraph 24 was approved by the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, namely that:

 

(a) The Authority establishes a Committee and delegates to it the functions of shareholder of 3SFire Ltd;

 

(b) New Directors are appointed to the trading company Board as outlined in Appendix A as an interim measure while a further review, overseen by the Shareholder Committee, is conducted. (Formal appointment of the Shareholder Committee and Directors of 3SFire Ltd dealt with as part of the normal appointments process which is a separate item on the agenda).

190.

Appointments Report pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To consider a report from the Clerk, which seeks to appoint Members to the Standard’s and Governance Committee and other appointments within the Fire Authority.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Authority considered a report from the Clerk (item 10 in the minute book), which appointed Members to Committees and other bodies for 2019-2020.

 

The report and recommendations were summarised by the Legal officer, highlighting the proposed proportionality of the Shareholder Committee in Appendix 2. It was also confirmed that a process was currently being undertaken to recruit a new Scheme Member vacancy for the Firefighters’ Pension Board and that Malcolm Eastwood had requested to extend his Membership for 10 months (until March 2020) rather than four years.

 

Councillor Price agreed with the allocation of seats in Appendix 2, whilst noting that this did not reflect the overall balance of the Authority, as stated at the bottom of the table.

 

Members discussed the name of the Shareholder Committee, and it was suggested that calling it a “Stakeholder Committee” may be more appropriate.  Officers advised that whilst the Committee would be exercising the functions of the Authority as Shareholder of 3SFire Ltd, it could be titled “Stakeholder Committee” if the Authority felt this more appropriate.  Members were given reassurance that legal and financial liability risks rest with 3SFire Ltd as a company limited by shares, and not with the Committee or Authority.  Notwithstanding this, it was noted that some reputational risks still remained for the Committee and the Authority.  In the circumstances, the Full Authority agreed that the new committee should be referred to as a Stakeholder Committee going forward. 

It was noted that the Isle of Wight had an open invitation to attend the APAG meetings and would continue to be welcomed going forward in 2019-20.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a.            For the purposes of Part 1 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, the allocation of seats on the Standards and Governance Committee and the 3SFire Ltd Stakeholder Committee of the Authority be as set out in Appendix 2 of the report.

 

b.            The Authority appointed the following members of the Standards and Governance and the 3SFire Ltd Stakeholder Committees and their respective Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen following the agreed allocation of seats until the Annual meeting of the Authority in 2020:


Standards and Governance

Stakeholder Committee

Cllr Liz Fairhurst (Chairman)

Cllr Roger Price (Chairman)

Cllr Sharon Mintoff (Vice Chairman)

Cllr Jonathan Glen (Vice Chairman)

Cllr Jonathan Glen

Cllr Roz Chadd

Cllr Geoff Hockley

Cllr Rhydian Vaughan

Cllr Roger Price

Cllr Sharon Mintoff

 

 

c.            With regards to the Pension Board, the Authority considered the position as set out in section 3 of the report and noted the recruitment process currently underway for the Scheme Member representative vacancy. It was agreed that Malcolm Eastwood be appointed as Scheme Member representative until 31 March 2020.

 

d.            It was agreed that APAG shall include all appointed HFRA Members as set out in paragraph 4a of the report until the Annual meeting of the Authority in 2020 and further noted that the Isle of Wight had an open invitation to also attend the meetings.

 

e.            The Authority appointed Councillor Liz Fairhurst (Chairman), Councillor Roger Price and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 190.

191.

Minor Amendments to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider a report from the Clerk, which sets out minor proposed changes to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s (HFRA) Constitution for approval by the Authority.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Authority considered a report from the Clerk (item 11 in the minute book) regarding minor amendments proposed to the HFRA Constitution.

 

It was acknowledged that these changes would now be updated to include references to the 3SFire Ltd Shareholder Committee, which had been agreed to be called a Stakeholder Committee.

 

It was noted that the Standards and Governance Committee may make further changes to the Terms of Reference of the Pension Board at its forthcoming meeting.  It was therefore suggested that the recommendation be amended to authorise the Clerk to make any further changes to the Pension Board’s Terms of Reference that are agreed by Standards and Governance Committee.  Members agreed this amendment and were happy with the proposed changes to the Constitution.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a.         The Authority approved the amendments to the Constitution at Appendix A, pending references to the ‘Shareholder Committee’ being changed to ‘Stakeholder Committee’; and

b.         The Authority delegated authority to the Clerk to finalise a new version of the Constitution containing the amendments at Appendix A,any further changes to the Pension Board’s Terms of Reference as agreed by Standards and Governance Committee, and consequential changes to numbering and formatting and to arrange for this to be published on the Authority’s website. 

192.

Annual Performance April 2018 - March 2019 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To receive a report from the Chief Fire Officer, which asks the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA) to note the performance for 2018 - 2019 detailed in this report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Authority received a report from the Chief Fire Officer (item 12 in the minute book) regarding the Annual Performance report, which focused on the Service mission ‘to make life safer’, the Service’s response standard to critical incidents, financial performance and staff well-being focussing on core measures for operational and organisational performance. The report looked at the past year’s performance, which was also the penultimate year of the current plan.

 

Members noted paragraph 9 in the report, which read “HFRS continues to demonstrate a good performance in the efficiency and effectiveness of protection of the public against fire and other risks”. This was observed during the July 2018 HMICFRS inspection and performance over the remainder of the year was consistent with this finding.

 

Officers highlighted the reduction in fire related casualties, which was a positive step. Since the intermediate capability of appliances and personnel had been stationed more locally, Whitchurch, an ‘indicator’ station had seen an improvement in availability of 39% during the day and 18% at night. Further improvements were anticipated across the Service as this intermediate capability was rolled out across the County.

 

During questions from Members it was confirmed that the Home Office did not measure critical response times across family groups as this varied across different Services and was hard to record consistently. The officer confirmed that where statistics were available for comparison, for example in rural areas, results indicated Hampshire were outperforming.

 

Looking specifically at Emsworth Fire Station, it was confirmed that the incident recording system was the same for West Sussex call-outs as it was for those in Hampshire, but the specific figures on call-outs to West Sussex could be investigated and reported back to the Full Authority.

 

There had been a decrease in arson convictions, but the Authority was reassured that convictions often took a long time to process and the Hampshire Arson Task Force still had the highest arrest rate in the country. On page 67 of the pack it was note that several evaluations by University of Portsmouth academics had been done on the adult fire setter programme to provide an evidence base that it was effective, and it was requested that the results of these come back to a future HFRA meeting.

 

Members discussed the importance of working with property developers to ensure new roads and estates were designed in a way that emergency vehicles could get access easily if required. It was confirmed that an officer worked closely throughout the design process to ensure requirements were met and social media campaigns were also in place to remind residents about parking sensibly and to take emergency vehicle access into account.

 

On page 69 of the pack it stated that HFRS were looking to increase response times from 64.7% to 77% in 2019-20. Whilst there were concerns from Members that this increase was unrealistic, officers were confident that the change initiatives being implemented and an increase in retained personnel made this target achievable.

 

Officers were thanked and congratulated for their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 192.

193.

Service Plan Annual Review pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer, which provides the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA) with a review for the final year (2019–2020) of the existing Service Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Authority considered a report from the Chief Fire Officer (item 13 in the minute book) regarding the Service Plan, which was a five year plan that was reviewed each year and encompassed the priorities identified in the Annual Performance plan (item 12 in the minute book).

 

Members queried the line “We respond quicker” on page 98 in the pack (page 2 of the plan) and felt that this could attract criticism considering that Critical Response was an area that required attention as identified in the Annual Performance plan. Whilst it was acknowledged that the Service Plan was designed to reflect goals in the future, it was agreed that the line be rephrased to “We will respond quicker”.

 

Andy Bowers, Deputy Chef Fire Officer, was thanked for his work on the plan.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The Service Plan annual review for 2019-2020 was approved by the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, taking into account the amendment on Page 2 with “We respond quicker” being updated to “We will respond quicker”.

194.

Annual Governance Statement 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer, which seeks approval for the Annual Governance Statement to be included in the Statement of Accounts.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Authority received a report from the Chief Fire Officer (item 14 in the minute book) regarding the Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19.

 

Members were happy with the plan and there were no questions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The Annual Governance Statement 2018/19 as set out in Appendix A was approved by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority for inclusion into the Statement of Accounts.

195.

Annual Statement of Equality pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To receive a report from the Chief Fire Officer, which requests the Annual Statement of Equality (Workforce Demographics) be noted by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Authority received a report from the Chief Fire Officer (item 15 in the minute

book) regarding the Annual Statement of Equality, which provided a snapshot of the HFRS equality information and highlighted some of the actions undertaken to improve the diversity of the workforce. It also provided an update on progress towards achievement of the Service’s equality objectives, which were approved by HFRA in July 2018.

 

The objectives remained the same, but the equality profile of the Fire Service remained a focus for improvement. Positive steps had been taken and the Service was above national average for on-call female firefighters but work was still being done to increase the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, which were under represented.

 

Members acknowledged the positive step in the Cadet units being developed and getting a wider variety of people involved from a younger age. Social media campaigns around recruitment were being well received. It was suggested that the Prince’s Trust events could also be a good opportunity to inspire young people into getting involved in the Cadet programme.

 

A recent recruitment process had 21% of successful candidates being women, which was the highest proportion achieved by the Service and showed that significant progress was being made.

 

HFRS officers were thanked for their hard work.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The Annual Statement of Equality (Workforce Demographics) was noted by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

 

 

196.

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 5 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:

It was resolved that the public be excluded from the meeting during the

following items of business, as it was 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 the items there would be

disclosure to them of exempt information within Paragraph 5 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.

197.

Exempt Minute from 3 April HFRA Meeting

To approve the exempt minute from the 3 April 2019 Hampshire Fire and Rescue Full Authority meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The exempt minute from the 3 April meeting was approved by the Authority.