Agenda and minutes

Fire & Rescue Service Scrutiny Committee - Friday, 8th January, 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Rob Castle on 033 022 22546  Email:  rob.castle@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

17.

Declarations of Interest

Committee members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personalinterest in any business on the agenda. They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it.  If in doubt please contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

17.1     In accordance with the code of conduct the following interests were declared: -

 

·         Cllr Smytherman in respect of item 5 (Fire and Rescue Service Strategic Performance Report Q2 2020/21) as president of Sight Support Worthing and as the manager of a block of flats in Worthing

18.

Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 139 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

18.1     Resolved – that the minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2020 are approved as a correct record and are signed by the Chairman.

19.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Extract from the Forward Plan of Key Decisions dated 17 December 2020.

 

Any Forward Plan published between the date of despatch of the agenda and the date of the meeting will be tabled at the meeting.

 

The Committee is asked to consider whether it wishes to enquire into any of the forthcoming decisions within its portfolio.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1        Resolved – that the Committee notes the Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

20.

Fire and Rescue Service Strategic Performance Report Q2 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Report by the Chief Fire Officer.

 

The report provides a context to the Performance and Assurance Framework for the purpose of future scrutiny of the Executive’s approach to performance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1     The Committee considered a report by the Chief Fire Officer (copy appended to the signed minutes) which was introduced by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer and Mark Andrews, Deputy Chief Fire Officer who told the Committee: -

 

·         The Service had been operating in unprecedented circumstances and although some areas still needed improvement the direction of travel was good

·         Core Measure 1 (Total number of Fire Deaths) – the Service had set-up a Panel to review every fatal fire to inform future strategy

·         Core Measure 6 (Number of Safe and Well Visits Delivered) – significant progress had been made against this target which should be green by the end of the year

·         Core Measure 18 (Critical Fires – 2nd Appliance (Fire Engine) attendance), Core Measure 19 (Critical Special Service - 1st Appliance (Fire Engine) attendance), Core Measure 21 (Adequate Crewing on all retained Fire Engines) - crewing optimisation allows the Service to make sure it has the right resources in the right places. The county crewing pilot allows the Service to make the best use of its on call or retained duty staff to ensure they are in the right places - this continues to improve cover and whilst it is disappointing to see that these measures are red the Service is focussing on them to ensure they improve over the coming quarters. The Service has employed additional retained liaison officers.

·         Core Measure 10 (Proportion of Unsatisfactory Fire Safety Inspections) – the Service had prioritised quality over quantity

·         Core Measure 12 (Building Regulation Consultations) – target achieved

·         Core Measure 17 (Critical Fires – 1st Appliance (Fire Engine) Attendance) – there had been slight improvement

 

20.2     Summary of responses to committee members’ questions and comments: -

 

·         Officers will review all fatal fires through a Panel of fire officers

·         Physical Safe and Well visits had been hampered by the pandemic, but some had been done by phone – the target for these visits would not be met this year due to a lack of referrals rather than a backlog

·         Although the target for Core Measure 18 had not been met, compliance was 4% up on the same quarter last year and there were no areas of very high risk in the county

·         Key to improving performance against Core Measure 18 was availability of appliances and retained fire fighters

·         Retained Liaison Officers were helping with the recruitment of retained fire fighters and were able to act as incident commanders as they were based in stations staffed with retained fire fighters

·         Appliance driving instructors were being recruited to increase the number of drivers

·         Between last January and November, appliance availability increased by 21,000 hours enabling 1,498 occasions where retained appliances were first on the scene at 878 incidents

·         There was a concern raised over Core Measure 19, but the Committee was assured that there were no very high-risk areas in the county and that the latest performance figures were 4% up and the same time last year

·         The number of people furloughed and working  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

West Sussex Reset Plan and Key Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report by Chief Executive.

 

The Committee is asked to consider the Draft Reset Plan and Key Performance Indicators as set out in the appendices (to follow) as relevant to the portfolio area.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1     The Committee considered a report by the Chief Executive (copy appended to the signed minutes) which was introduced by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer who told the Committee that the Service’s responsibilities included working with communities and partners to prevent emergencies as well as dealing with fires.

 

21.2     Summary of responses to committee members’ questions and comments: -

 

·         The four key performance indicators (KPIs) in the reset plan relating to the Fire & Rescue Service covered all main areas of its work – response, prevention and protection

·         These KPIs used raw data so were more easily measured and demonstrated how the Services was performing more clearly as opposed to others such as Core Measure 10 (Proportion of Unsatisfactory Fire Safety Inspections) which were more complex

 

21.3     Resolved – that the Committee supports the proposed reset plan and key performance indicators for the Fire & Rescue Service

22.

Priority Programme Update pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Report by the Chief Fire Officer.

 

The report provides an overview of the priority programmes of work during Quarter 2 of 2020/2021 including progress against the People Action Plan, the Improvement Plan and the Integrated Risk Management Plan Action Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

22.1     The Committee considered a report by the Chief Fire Officer (copy appended to the signed minutes) which was introduced by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer who told the Committee that the Service had focussed first on protection and prevention as these areas had the biggest impact on public safety. The emphasis was now moving to staff culture via the three-year People Action Plan.

 

22.2     Summary of responses to committee members’ questions and comments: -

 

·         Local risk management plans were about how to implement the Integrated Risk Management Plan at a local level involving local councillors

·         The Fire & Rescue Service Resilience and Emergencies Team was part of the Council’s Resilience and Emergencies Team

 

22.3     Resolved – that the Committee notes the progress made and looks forward to further developments in the next municipal year

 

 

23.

Fire and Rescue Service Independent Advisory Panel Closure pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Report by the Chief Fire Officer.

 

The report provides an update on the Independent Advisory Panel’s work going forward.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

23.1     The Committee learned that the Independent Advisory Panel was pleased with the significant amount of progress made by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service against recommendations made by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services and therefore it decided on 11 November 2020 that it no longer needed to monitor the Service.

 

23.2     Resolved – that the Committee notes the closure of the Independent Advisory Panel.

24.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services Covid Inspection letter

The Committee to consider the results of the recent Covid Inspection.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

24.1     Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services Covid Inspection letter had not yet arrived, but the Committee learned that the Service: -

 

·         Had been involved in meetings with Public Health, the NHS and other key partners to put in place plans for dealing with the pandemic from February 2020 - these proved to be very effective

·         Had been able to carry out its core duties of protecting people and responding to emergencies, it had also found new ways to carry out preventative work

·         Is able to support the wider public effort whilst fulfilling its own role

·         Is involved in weekly Resilience Forum meetings and reviews its own performance continually

·         Has supported its staff

·         Has a good degradation plan and is confident it can cope if the pandemic worsens

 

24.2     Resolved – that as Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services Covid Inspection letter had not yet arrived, this item would be discussed at the next meeting.

25.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 54 KB

The Committee to review its draft work programme for the year ahead taking into consideration the checklist at Appendix A.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

25.1     The Committee discussed its work programme and agreed the following: -

 

·         Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services Covid Inspection letter would be placed on the agenda for the 26 March 2021 meeting

·         Further details on retained fire fighters as reported in the Performance Assurance Framework would be discussed by the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chief Fire Officer and fed back to the Committee

·         Membership of the Joint Control Centre Task & Finish Group – a request was made for a Labour representative to be appointed to the Task & Finish Group, but this was rejected as the proposed membership already complied with the constitution by having one non-majority group member – membership was therefore agreed as Cllr Barnard, Cllr Barling, Cllr Edwards and
Cllr Smytherman – it was also agreed that the Task & Finish Group would also look at the Electronic Services Group

26.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held virtually on 26 March 2021 at 10.30 am.  Probable agenda items include:

 

·         Performance & Assurance Framework Core Indicators

·         Priority programmes: Integrated risk management plan update

·         Inspection Preparedness Report

·         Joint Control Room Task & Finish Group report

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 11 March 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

26.1     The next meeting of the Committee will take place on 26 March 2021.