Agenda and minutes

Performance and Overview Committee
Wednesday, 28th February, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Lecture Theatre - Fire Headquarters, Cheshire

Contact: Joanne Smith 

Items
No. Item

1.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

1A

Record of Meeting

Members are reminded that this meeting will be audio-recorded.

Minutes:

Members were reminded that the meeting would be audio-recorded.

1B

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors D Bailey, A Dirir, J Saunders and M Simon.

1C

Declaration of Members' Interests

Members are reminded that the Members’ Code of Conduct requires the disclosure of Statutory Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Non-Statutory Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Disclosable Non-Pecuniary Interests.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of Members’ interests.

1D

Minutes of the Performance and Overview Committee pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Performance and Overview Committee held on 22nd November 2017.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive referred Members to the last two paragraphs of Item 3 – Quarter 2 Performance Report 2017-18 in the minutes.  He informed Members that the Head of Service Delivery would cover the questions raised within this section of the minutes during discussion of Item 3.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

[1]      the minutes of the Performance and Overview Committee held on 22nd November 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.

2.

Quarter 3 Finance Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance introduced the report which provided a summary of the Service’s Quarter 3 revenue position and the status of projects in the capital programme. 

She informed Members that, in relation to the revenue budget, the Quarter 3 review was reporting a forecast underspend of £631k – a net overall total for 2017/18 of £961k underspend.  Further details were contained within Appendix 1 to the report and key areas of change since mid-year included further underspends of:

-        £212k in Service Delivery

-        £84k in Protection

-        £73k in Planning Performance and Communications

-        £74k in Fleet Services

 

She referred Members to Appendix 2 to the report which contained details of the individual projects and schemes within the capital programme.  The capital programme was forecasting an overall outturn of £30.03m against an approved budget of £30.13m.

RESOLVED: That

[1]      the Quarter 3 Finance report 2017-18 be noted.

3.

Quarter 3 Performance Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive introduced the report which provided an update on the 2017-18 Quarter 3 review of performance for each of the Service’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  Appendix 1 to the report contained the corporate performance scorecard reflecting the Quarter 3 position against targets set and the year-on-year direction of travel for the Service’s KPIs.

The Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive introduced the Head of Service Delivery who responded to the following queries raised by Members at the last meeting of the Committee in November 2017 (extracts from the minutes from Item 3 – Quarter 2 Performance Report 2017-18 are in italics):

‘A Member queried whether officers could provide a separate report with the number of occasions when the appliance was kept available at Wilmslow due to cover from individuals from other stations.  Officers confirmed that they would provide this information to Members.’

The Head of Service Delivery referred Members to a document containing an overview of on-call availability at Wilmslow Fire Station.  A nucleus duty system was currently in place at Wilmslow, with wholetime cover provided from 0700-1900 and on-call cover from 1900-0700 every day.  The average availability of the on-call team at Wilmslow was 62% from October 2017 to December 2017.  Further supplementary crewing provided an additional 33% average availability over the same period, increasing total availability to an average of 95% over that period.  He explained that surplus individuals from other stations could volunteer or do overtime to act as supplementary crew to increase the availability at Wilmslow Fire Station.

The Head of Service Delivery informed Members that the year-to-date spend for on-call staff at Wilmslow was £59k.  Supplementary crewing costs were £42k, meaning that the total year-to-date spend was £101k against a total budget of £162k.

He drew Members’ attention to further developments that were being implemented to improve availability at Wilmslow.  He highlighted that a recruitment campaign at Wilmslow Fire Station had led to four further suitable candidates being found. As part of a new pilot scheme, two Crew Managers had also been stationed at Wilmslow to work alternating night shift patterns.  This was expected to improve availability as it would ensure that the skillsets essential to maintaining the availability of an appliance were available (i.e. full competence, ability to drive an appliance, officer in charge).  Having a Crew Manager available during evenings was also expected to assist with the completion of administrative work. 

‘A Member requested information on the response times of on-call appliances at the following stations for the last 10 incidents attended by each of them: Wilmslow, Macclesfield, Penketh, Congleton, Runcorn and Winsford.  The Head of Service Delivery confirmed that officers would provide this information.’

The Head of Service Delivery drew Members’ attention to a document containing average on-call turnout times for the last 10 turnouts for Wilmslow, Macclesfield, Penketh, Congleton, Runcorn and Winsford:

On-Call Appliance

Average turnout times (last 10)

Average turnout times April – December 2017

Runcorn

4 mins 6  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Quarter 3 Programme Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive introduced the report which provided an update on the Service’s 2017-18 Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) programmes and projects.  He referred Members to Appendix 1 to the report which contained a health report for the third quarter of 2017-18.

He informed Members of the progress made in respect of the Blue Light Collaboration Programme.  The current progress status of the programme was now green (previously red) due to the realignment of the date for the Service on-boarding to the Multi Force Shared Service arrangement.  Stores, Procurement, Finance and HR were still on track to TUPE transfer to Cheshire Constabulary employment on 1st April 2018.  Work was also ongoing to finalise the End State Collaboration Agreement between the Service and Cheshire Constabulary.

The Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive highlighted several programmes where closedown reports had been agreed by the Service’s Performance and Programme Board, including Lymm, Powey Lane and Knutsford Fire Stations and the reviews of the second appliances at Crewe and Ellesmere Port.  He informed Members that a Staffing Committee meeting was taking place on 7th March 2018 and the agenda included a report on the implications for the existing cohorts of on-call firefighters following the decision made by the Fire Authority concerning the duty systems for the second fire appliances at Crewe and Ellesmere Port.  He explained that the report sought an endorsement from Members of the proposal to facilitate the migration of those on-call firefighters that wished to become wholetime firefighters.

He highlighted that an agreement had been reached with the Fire Brigades Union concerning the Nucleus Duty System Review (Birchwood, Macclesfield and Wilmslow) which would facilitate new working arrangements.  He also drew Members’ attention to delays concerning the Cardiac Response Programme and Emergency Services Mobile Communication Programme which were national issues with delays beyond the Service’s control.

RESOLVED: That

[1]      the Quarter 3 Programme Report 2017-18 be noted.

 

5.

Internal Audit Plan - Quarterly Progress Report (Q3) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Kevin Lloyd (the Auditor), a representative from Mersey Internal Audit Agency (MIAA) was in attendance at the meeting to present the quarterly progress summary of the 2017-18 Internal Audit Plan (attached as Appendix 1 to the report).

He informed Members that reviews had been completed on the following three areas: Equality and Diversity – Recruitment; Fire Safety Audits; and Business Continuity.  Each review had received a ‘significant’ assurance level.

RESOLVED: That

[1]       the Internal Audit Plan – Quarterly Progress Report (Q3) be noted.

 

6.

Equality and Inclusion Update Review pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Transformation introduced the report which provided an overview of key equality and inclusion developments within the Service and progress made against the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

She covered the following matters: addressing disproportionality in the workforce; the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index; the Staff Survey; and the Equality and Diversity Recruitment Review.  She also highlighted upcoming equality, diversity and inclusion work that was anticipated in relation to the inspection from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICRFS).

The Chair queried how the Service went about recruiting from disadvantaged areas in and outside of the Cheshire boundaries.  The Director of Transformation informed Members that social media was often used to engage candidates from all backgrounds, particularly as part of the recruitment process for apprentices and the high potential development scheme.  She highlighted how the introduction of the Living Wage for the Service’s apprentices had reduced barriers to recruitment for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.  She also explained that the Service was linking in to schools and colleges from all areas within the county to try and engage with individuals from under-represented backgrounds.  Individuals undertaking work experience with the Service were also eligible to claim expenses.

The Chair referred the Committee to the results of the Staff Survey which were included in the report and asked for further information on bullying and harassment within the Service and whether any issues came out of the survey that Members should be aware of.  The Director of Transformation informed the Committee that the Service did not have a significant problem with bullying and harassment, and that arrangements were in place (and being reviewed) to allow staff to report concerns. 

In terms of other issues raised with the Staff Survey, the Director of Transformation explained that employees had raised concerns over feeling fairly rewarded and valued.  As a result of this feedback, more engagement work had been undertaken and officers had started working on improving the Service’s pay and recognition policy. 

RESOLVED: That

[1]      the Equality and Inclusion Update Review be noted.

7.

Annual Bonfire Period Report 2017 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Arson Reduction and Road Safety Manager introduced the report which appended the Authority’s Annual Bonfire Period Report 2017, containing details of the preventative and operational activities of the Service and its partners during the bonfire period dated 24th October 2017 to 7th November 2017.

He elaborated on the information contained within each section of the report, highlighting plans that had been implemented following recommendations arising from the previous bonfire periods.  He drew Members’ attention to unitary area and station area performance during the 2017 bonfire period;  79% of all secondary deliberate fire activity recorded during the period had occurred in the following station areas: Warrington, Widnes, Ellesmere Port, Winsford and Runcorn.

A Member welcomed recommendation l) within Section 12 of the report which referred to the practice of making cash contributions to organised displays and funding the provision of diversionary activities in known areas of increased call activity.

RESOLVED: That

[1]      the report be noted; and

[2]      the recommendations in Section 12 of the Annual Bonfire Period Report 2017 (attached as Appendix 1) be supported.

 

8.

Annual Prosecutions Report 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Policy and Development Manager (Protection) presented the Annual Prosecutions Report 2016-17 which provided an update on the Authority’s audit activity and prosecutions under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  Cases to date were attached as Appendix 1 to the report.

RESOLVED: That

[1]      the Annual Prosecutions Report 2016-17 be noted.

9.

New Training Centre - Training Transition Report pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Head of Operational Policy and Assurance introduced the report which provided details of the plans which had been developed to relocate the Service’s operational and command training during the construction of the new training centre at Sadler Road. 

The Training Centre Programme Manager referred Members to Appendix 1 to the report which contained a full list of courses and alternative venues for use by the Service during the construction of the new training centre.

RESOLVED: That

[1]      the New Training Centre – Training Transition Report be noted.

 

10.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 67 KB

The table includes those items that have been identified/agreed to-date.  Members are asked to agree any additional items at the end of the meeting which need to be added to the programme.

 

Minutes:

The forward work programme was considered by Members and the Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive informed them of an additional item concerning the action plan arising from the forthcoming HMICFRS inspection which he believed should provisionally be added to the agenda for the November 2018 meeting.