Agenda and minutes

Venue: Main Conference Room, Service Headquarters, Fulwood

Contact: Diane Brooks,  Principal Member Services Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Simon Blackburn and Fred Jackson.


Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Members are asked to consider any pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the agenda.


None received.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 86 KB


County Councillor O’Toole suggested and it was agreed that a Police representative be invited to a future Strategy Group meeting to discuss the joint benefits of collaboration initiatives.


RESOLVED: - That the Minutes of the last meeting held on 15 July 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) Update pdf icon PDF 60 KB


ACFO Norman presented the report.  In 2017 Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) remit for inspecting all Police Forces in England, was extended by the Home Secretary to also include independently inspecting all 45 Fire and Rescue Services in England. They would become Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and the 45 English Fire Services would all be inspected over a two year period.


Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) was inspected in July 2018, in the first tranche of inspections and subsequently our HMICFRS report was publicised in December 2018.


The report highlighted our areas of best practice and we didn’t receive any formal areas for improvement. The report did however guide us to consider the following three areas:


·        Theserviceshouldensure thatit hasallocatedsufficientresourcestoa prioritised andrisk-basedinspection programme.

·        Theserviceshould assure itselfthatit ismakingthemostofcollaboration opportunitiesandthattheyprovidevalueformoney.

·        Theserviceshouldputin place anopenandfairprocess to identify, developandsupport high potential staff and aspiringleaders.


LFRS continued to evaluate these areas and was working towards the initial action plan for delivering and measuring our improvements against them. To ensure the delivery of these improvements, they reported to Corporate Programme Board for monitoring and scrutiny.


In response to a question raised by County Councillor Hennessy, the Assistant Chief Fire Officer confirmed that each of the areas in the action plan were time bound.  Some actions had concluded, some were ongoing and more were added as required ie: from lessons learned.  He advised that other Fire Services were adopting Lancashire’s Risk Based Inspection Programme and that he would provide a short presentation to the next meeting.


LFRS was currently required to undertake quarterly data set returns for the HMICFRS. This involved providing the HMICFRS data teams with an array  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11/19


Blue Light Collaboration and Existing Site Sharing Arrangements pdf icon PDF 68 KB


ACFO Norman presented the report.  The Blue Light Collaboration programme was now embedded into both Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services’ corporate programme.  Work was continuing to provide an attendee from North West Ambulance Service, so that all 3 Blue Light services under the duty to collaborate were represented.


From the original 32 ideas recommended, several had been closed after initial scoping from both organisations. They had closed on the basis that there were no tangible benefits for either organisation or the public, or it was not the right time for the organisations to invest in it.


There were however, 14 opportunities still being looked into and advanced within this programme which included 4 projects: i) fire crime scene investigation accreditation; ii) missing persons phase ‘2’; iii) real time demand management; and iv) public order training site with the other 10 categorised as ‘business as usual’: i) recruitment activity for Police support staff to become On-Call Firefighters; ii) fuel BCP; iii) vehicle maintenance for LFRS flexi duty officer cars; iv) command unit incorporating JESIP principles; v) duty officer communication; vi) shared data, risk and analytical reporting; vii) joint communications activity; viii) LFRS relocation to Police HQ; ix) shared asset management; and x) second event drone. 


In response to Member concerns regarding the recruitment of Police support staff to become on-call firefighters the Deputy Chief Fire Officer confirmed that recruitment activity was in its infancy.  There were some Fire and Rescue Services across the country that used Police Community Support Officers to provide an on-call firefighter service and it wasn’t currently known whether this idea would have any traction in Lancashire.  The intention was to see whether there were opportunities for Police staff to provide on-call capability in the same way as other large employers in Lancashire.


In response to a question from County Councillor Hennessy regarding communication with the Unions; the Deputy Chief Fire Officer advised that he was the lead for formal consultation and negotiation in relation to any collaboration.  He felt it was important to engage with appropriate bodies and would avoid a position where any change would be pushed through without consultation and agreement.


Mr Kevin Wilkie was invited to comment.  Mr Wilkie stated that the FBU policy was they did not share anything with the Police (premises, uniforms or vehicles).  He confirmed that the FBU were currently in talks regarding pay negotiations for work undertaken around missing persons and gaining entry.  During the negotiations the status quo was being maintained; working together to make sure a quality service was delivered to the people of Lancashire.


Business as usual collaborations continued and allowed LFRS to see cost benefits.  Lancashire FRS had recently added Lancashire Constabulary onto their Drone Insurance Policy.  This had saved the Police a great deal of time in organising their own insurance and the additional cost of a bespoke policy.  In turn, this had allowed Lancashire FRS to recover half of the cost of the policy from the Police.  It had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12/19


Consultation Strategy pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:


ACFO Norman presented the report.  The Authority had a consultation strategy which provided a framework through which it could seek public opinion on major change issues.


Each year the Planning Committee reviewed the strategy as now considered by Members to assure continued compliance with guidance or legislation and to incorporate learning from any public consultation exercises undertaken.


The review concluded that the strategy continued to be legally compliant and in line with good practice.  


County Councillor O’Toole queried whether the cost of any consultation was justified by the number of responses received given these had been poor in the past.  The Assistant Chief Fire Officer confirmed that although there had not been any consultation during the previous year the costs had been reduced with the move to a digital format via video and electronic publications on the website.


RESOLVED: - That the Committee noted and endorsed the consultation strategy.


Tower Block Fire in Student Accommodation in Bolton

An item of business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the Minutes, the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered as a matter of urgency.  Wherever possible, the Clerk should be given advance warning of any Member’s intention to raise a matter under this heading.


Further to a recent tower block fire in student accommodation in Bolton, County Councillor Martin asked for clarification on the action taken by the Service on buildings with cladding that were not classed as high rise (ie: of 6 storeys or less).  In response the Assistant Chief Fire Officer confirmed that all residential buildings of 6 storeys or above had been through a risk assessment. 


The incident in Bolton raised questions regarding other types of building materials.  The national fire chiefs council had issued guidance which had been sent out to all Universities or the third party responsible for the building.  The Service was making itself available to go out again to give advice (although the fire investigation from Bolton had not yet concluded).


The Deputy Chief Fire Officer advised that it was known that high pressure laminate cladding was used on the building in Bolton, which was used within Lancashire.  He confirmed that following assessment of Lancashire buildings the Service was as prepared as possible.  A dedicated team was being put together to focus on areas of vulnerability and to provide a more consistent approach.


RESOLVED: - That the report be noted.



Learning From Wildfires


County Councillor Hennessy had requested a presentation on learning from wildfires following a multi-agency event she had attended in July which was hosted by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services to other Fire and Rescue Services and partner agencies to raise awareness of UK wildfire prevention and response.  This was a very well attended and enjoyable event.  CC Hennessy personally learned a lot about wildfires, how they affected the weather and how they were monitored by satellite.  As a Member of the Fire Authority she wanted to be reassured that the Service was as prepared as possible for future climate incidents.  She also proposed that the role of the Health & Wellbeing Champion be extended to incorporate Climate Change.


The Deputy Chief Fire Officer confirmed that the Service had been working hard to ensure that lessons identified from the Winter Hill major incident became lessons learned.  Given the scale and scope of the incident the debrief process was a major task and included what went well, what didn’t go well and what could be done differently in the future.  Creating the right culture for staff to share was key to the process. 


The Wildfire Learning Event in July was a platform for the Service to discuss and share notable practice which linked to the HMICFRS and the principle of innovation, evaluation and sharing within the Fire Sector.  A broad range of topics were discussed: i) National Resilience; ii) National Fire Chiefs Council; iii) Winter Hill – A Lancashire Perspective; iv) Firewise UK; v) Wildfire Response and Prevention – A Northern Ireland Perspective; vi) International Wildfire Learning & Development – Pau Costa Foundation; vii) LFRS Wildfire Burn Team and demonstration; and viii) Climate Change Adaptation.


An Action Plan had been framed around 3 thematic areas; i) Wildfire pre-planning; ii) Wildfire response; and iii) Business Continuity Planning.  An Area Manager chaired each of the Thematic Groups which reported into the Operational Assurance Group.  Progress towards completion remained strong. 


RESOLVED: - That the report be noted.


Date of Next Meeting

Members are asked to consider moving the next scheduled meeting from 16 March 2020 to 10 February 2020 to enable timely consideration of the Annual Service Plan.


Further meetings are:           scheduled for 13 July 2020

                                                proposed for 16 November 2020


Members approved moving the next scheduled meeting from 16 March 2020 to 10 February 2020 at 1000 hours in the main Conference Room at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Fulwood. This would enable timely consideration of the Annual Service Plan. 


Further meeting dates were noted for 13 July 2020 and agreed for 16 November 2020.