Agenda and minutes

Informal Meeting, Governance and Constitution Committee - Wednesday, 14th July, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Lecture Theatre - Training Centre, Sadler Road, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 2FQ. View directions

Contact: Donna Linton  Governance and Corporate Planning Manager

Items
No. Item

1.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

1A

Recording 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 for absence were received from Councillor Mike Biggin.

 

1C

Membership of Committee

Members are asked to note the membership of the Governance and Constitution Committee for 2021-22, as agreed by the Fire Authority on 23rd June 2021.

 

Members:

Rob Polhill (Chair)

 

Nick Mannion (Deputy Chair)

 

Rachel Bailey

 

Mike Biggin

 

David Brown

 

Martyn Delaney

 

Brain Gallagher

 

 

Substitutes:

Michael Beanland

 

James Nicholas

 

Peter Wheeler

 

 

Independent (non-elected) member:

Derek Barnett

 

Minutes:

Members noted the membership of the Governance and Constitution Committee for 2021-22, as agreed by the Fire Authority on 23rd June 2021.

 

Councillors:                                            Rob Polhill – Chair

Nick Mannion – Deputy Chair

Rachel Bailey

Mike Biggin

David Brown

Martyn Delaney

Brian Gallagher

 

Substitutes:                                            Michael Beanland

James Nicholas

Peter Wheeler

 

Independent (non-elected) member:       Derek Barnett

1D

Declarations 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’ interest.

 

1E

Minutes of the Governance and Constitution Committee pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Governance and Constitution Committee held on Wednesday 28th April 2021.

 

Minutes:

Members did not raise any issues about the minutes.

2.

Dispensations pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Governance and Commissioning reminded Members that as the meeting was informal, the decision to extend the benefit of the existing dispensations to the new Members of the Fire Authority could not be made. Members agreed to defer the item to their next formal meeting.

 

Members were happy to move onto the next item.

 

3.

Whistleblowing Annual Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Governance and Commissioning introduced the report which provided information about whistleblowing for 2020-21.  He informed Members that the Authority had not been contacted by Safecall during 2020-21.

 

Members were happy to move onto the next item.

4.

Compliments and Complaints Annual Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Governance and Commissioning introduced the report which provided information regarding compliments and complaints received about the Service during the period 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021.

 

He provided an overview of the figures for the past five reporting periods which were presented within a table in the report. Compared to the previous year, the Service had seen a large increase in the number of compliments received. The number of formal complaints had decreased.

 

Members largely noted that the increase in compliments was caused by the Service’s response to Covid-19 Pandemic.

 

A Member commented that a Cheshire East Borough Council report into flooding commended the Service for its response to the flooding in the borough. The Member also raised concerns that the report noted that a number of on-call appliances had not mobilised to local incidents. The Director of Governance and Commissioning advised that the Deputy Chief Fire Officer would discuss operational attendance with Members at a Member Planning Day.

 

Members were happy to move onto the next item.

5.

Summary of Member Attendance 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Governance and Commissioning introduced the report which provided information about Member attendance for the last municipal year. Appendix 1 to the report summarised Member attendance at meetings of the Fire Authority and its three main committees: Estates and Property, Governance and Constitution and Performance and Overview. Appendix 2 to the report contained details of the planning days and additional meetings attended as well as conferences and events attended.

 

The Director highlighted that meetings and events had been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic so most of the reported figures were of virtual attendance. Despite the lack of physical meetings and events, Members continued to demonstrate a clear commitment.

 

Members were happy to move onto the next item.

 

6.

Review of Financial Regulations

A review of the Financial Regulations has been carried out by the Treasurer and Head of Finance and they have suggested one minor change, which is set out below:

 

Current

 

10.21 The need for any new reserve and the movement on existing reserves will be reported to Performance and Overview Committee as part of the regular quarterly reporting process.

 

Proposed

 

10.21 The need for any new reserve and any movement on existing reserves will be considered by the Service Management Team prior to reporting to Performance and Overview Committee as part of the regular quarterly reporting process.

 

The change is to acknowledge the important role that Service Management Team is expected to play in assisting Members with the management of reserves.

 

Members are asked to approve this amendment to the Financial Regulations.

Minutes:

The Director of Governance and Commissioning advised Members that a minor amendment was required to the Financial Regulations to acknowledge the important role that the Service Management Team is expected to play in assisting Members with the management of reserves. This amendment would be put to the Fire Authority.

 

Members were happy to conclude the informal meeting.