Agenda and minutes

Fire & Rescue Service Scrutiny Committee - Friday, 26th March, 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

27.

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:

27.1     Cllr Smytherman declared a personal interest as working with the Home Office on the changes to the regulations for the Fire Service Order 2005 on behalf of leasehold flat owners.

28.

Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 136 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2021 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

28.1     Resolved – that the minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2021 are approved as a correct record and are signed by the Chairman.

29.

Fire and Rescue Service Strategic Performance Report Quarter 3 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 68 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:

29.1     The Committee considered a report by the Chief Fire Officer (copy appended to the signed minutes). A summary of responses to committee members’ questions and comments is below: -

 

·         Two rural fatalities highlighted the importance of smoke detectors which will be the focus of a publicity campaign over Easter

·         Stations in the general area of an incident would be pre-alerted until the exact location was known to give a prompt response

·         A station by station review will show where local recruitment is needed by summer

·         The ongoing County Crewing pilot scheme may help retained appliance availability

·         It is standard practice to move appliances around the county according to risk to ensure the best fire cover is available

 

29.2     The Chairman proposed the following recommendations which were seconded by Cllr Smytherman and agreed by the Committee: -

 

Resolved – That the Committee: -

 

                             i.        Supports the formation of a panel which reviews fire deaths in order to improve prevention of injury or death from fire incidents

                            ii.        Supports further work to refine data collection in an improved performance of 999 call answering but notes significant performance improvements since the last quarter

                           iii.        Supports the investigation of incidents where the mobilisation standard was not achieved

                          iv.        Notes the improvement in Fire Station alert times but notes that more work is required including a pre-alert system

                            v.        Notes the incremental improvements in second appliance attendance time to critical fires and critical special Service first attendance appliance attendance and supports a station by station review process to drive further improvement

                          vi.        Supports post lockdown initiatives to improve adequate retained crewing on front line fire appliances

                         vii.        Congratulates the service on the 100 percent safeguarding referral achievement

                        viii.        Congratulates the fire service on the critical fires first appliance attendance exceeding the target for the fourth consecutive quarter

30.

Priority Programme Update pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Report by the Chief Fire Officer.

 

The report provides an overview of the priority programmes of work during Quarter 3 of 2020/2021 including progress against the People Action Plan, the Improvement Plan and the Integrated Risk Management Plan Action Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

30.1     The Committee considered a report by the Chief Fire Officer (copy appended to the signed minutes). A summary of responses to committee members’ questions and comments is below: -

 

·         The 100 staff spoken to about promoting the right values and culture were in a variety of roles within the service – although 29% did not find discussions meaningful, this was lower than before. More work would be done on the process to improve the 29% rate

·         Surveys had been carried out during the pandemic to assess staff wellbeing with changes being made where necessary

·         The Service reviewed Corporate Risk 60 and requested irt remained on the risk register until the next inspection

·         The Service is currently developing the next risk profile for the next IRMP which would later be shared with the Cabinet Member

 

30.2     The Chairman proposed the following recommendations which were seconded by Cllr Smytherman and agreed by the Committee: -

 

Resolved – That the Committee: -

 

             i.        Notes the progress regarding protecting the public through fire regulation

            ii.        Notes progress in the People Action Plan and the closure of the Independent Advisory Panel

           iii.        Notes of performances improve whilst taking on additional duties during the covid pandemic

31.

Report of the Task and Finish Group - Joint Fire Control Centre pdf icon PDF 83 KB

The Committee to consider the report of the Joint Control Room Task & Finish Group.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

31.1     The Committee considered a report by the Chairman of the Task and Finish Group (copy appended to the signed minutes). A summary of responses to committee members’ questions and comments is below: -

 

·         New working methods meant fewer staff were needed than before and discussions were happening with Surrey Fire & Rescue Service over required staffing levels when East Sussex Fire Authority calls were also handled by the control centre

·         The service was monitoring progress of the Emergency Services Network whilst continuing to use an upgraded version of the Airwave communication system

·         The centre has a ‘buddy’ centre on Merseyside which also uses Airwave (a ‘buddy’ system is standard and effective) and is sufficiently informed to pass relevant information onto the Surrey centre

·         999 calls were queued when there were multiple calls per incident

 

31.2     The Chairman proposed that the recommendations of the Task & Finish Group be agreed by the Committee. This was seconded by Cllr Barnard. Cllr M Jones abstained from the vote.

 

31.3     Resolved – That the Committee agrees the Task & Finish Group’s recommendations.

32.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services Covid Inspection letter pdf icon PDF 64 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

32.1     The Committee considered the COVID Inspection Letter from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (copy appended to the signed minutes) and learned that the service didn’t review how it defined premises as high risk during the pandemic as it considered that existing risk ratings remained appropriate.

 

32.2     The Chairman proposed the following recommendation which was seconded by the Vice Chairman and agreed by the Committee - the Committee congratulates all those in the Fire Service who took on additional roles to assist the community during the pandemic whilst maintaining its statutory functions.

 

 

33.

Work Programme Planning and Possible Items for Future Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 58 KB

The Committee is asked to review its current draft work programme for the remainder of the County Council term taking into account the Forward Plan of Key Decisions and any suggestions from its members for possible items for future scrutiny.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

33.1     The Committee considered its work programme (copy appended to the signed minutes) and agreed to look at the proposed transfer of the Fire & Rescue Service to the Police & Crime Commissioner when appropriate.

 

33.2     Resolved – that the Committee notes its work programme.

34.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held virtually on 18 June 2021 at 10.30 am.  Probable agenda items include:

 

·         Performance & Assurance Framework Core Indicators

·         Priority programmes: IRMP update, Improvement update

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 3 June 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

34.1     The next meeting of the Committee will take place on 18 June 2021.