Venue: Lightfoot Room 1, Service Headquarters, Fulwood
Contact: Diane Brooks, Principal Member Services Officer
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from County Councillors David O’Toole, Ian Brown and Tony Martin and Councillors Mohammed Khan and Simon Blackburn.
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.
Prior to consideration of the minutes of the previous meeting the DCFO provided an update on the impact of Storm Ciara over the past 24 hours; North West Fire Control received 311 calls reporting incidents across Lancashire between 7am and 4pm, many related to flooding and dangerous structures. It was an extremely busy period with around 80 incidents at its height, either being dealt with or queued and a major incident was declared but was soon stood down. The picture was improving however there were further weather warnings relating to snow and ice for later in the week. Due to the impact of flooding at Service HQ, business continuity arrangements had been instigated and an Incident Management Team meeting would be held later that day.
Councillor Jackson asked that a thank you be passed onto members of LFRS on behalf of the residents in his area which LFRS supported at flooding incidents the day before.
Councillor Jackson asked whether there were certain instances where LFRS was unable to completely remove all the water from a property. In response to the question the DCFO explained that due to the size and location of the strainer used to remove the water, there may be instances where low-level residual water may be left however, he was confident that Firefighters would have done all they could to remove as much water as possible.
County Councillor Kay asked if LFRS go out prior to flooding events to give advice on how to protect properties from flooding. In response to the question raised the DCFO explained that this was more the role of the Environment Agency. Councillor Jackson added that local residents could set up local flood groups as some areas of Lancashire had already established.
RESOLVED: - That the Minutes of the last meeting held on the 25 November 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
The Assistant Chief Fire Officer presented a report on the Service's Annual Service Plan and Strategic Assessment of Risk for 2020/21.
This year’s Annual Service Plan, as now considered by Members continued to provide LFRS with the platform to highlight the priority activities and projects the Service intended to deliver over the coming year; leading improvements and innovation in the sector with some of the best firefighting equipment and training facilities in the country and a highly skilled and motivated workforce. The year ahead would build on achievements by staying focused on continuous improvement to make the people of Lancashire safer, particularly the most vulnerable members of our communities. Many priorities were initiatives that would transform the way we work and bring lasting benefits.
This year’s Annual Service Plan as now presented would be published alongside the Strategic Assessment of Risk. First published in 2016, this document had been refreshed for the 2020/21 year and captured the dynamic picture of changing risk in Lancashire.
Annual Service Plan
The Annual Service Plan was a core part of the planning framework which set out the activities intended for delivery during the next 12 months. It was built around the Service’s four corporate priorities as detailed in the Integrated Risk Management Plan which were: -
1. Preventing fire and other emergencies from happening and Protecting people and property when fires happen;
2. Responding to fire and other emergencies quickly and competently;
3. Valuing our people so they can focus on making Lancashire safer;
4. Delivering value for money in how we use our resources.
The Annual Service Plan sat at the heart of the framework and informed activity that would be led across the Service as well as locally within district plans. Activities that were planned for delivery also informed staff performance appraisal process so that all staff understood the plans and were involved in helping to deliver key activities.
As in previous years, detailed under each corporate priority was a series of priority activities and projects with a brief description of each item to give further clarity and context. This ensured that all staff and the public were informed of the changes and activities the Service aimed to progress and how these items fitted within our priorities. This provided the opportunity for the Service to ensure that it continued to provide transparency and visibility of plans in a clear concise format. The governance arrangements for delivery of the Annual Service Plan items would continue to be monitored through the Service's Corporate Programme Board and Service Management Team.
As always, the aim was to continually improve and refine the planning process and this year’s document aimed to add focus on achievable progress within the year, acknowledging that a significant proportion of items were continued from the 2019/20 Plan, reflecting the commitment to a number of long-term projects. Its style remained consistent with previous Annual Service Plans produced under the current IRMP period 2017 - 2022.
Strategic Assessment of Risk
Risk in Lancashire would ... view the full minutes text for item 20/19
The Assistant Chief Fire Officer presented the report.
It was noted that the Blue Light Collaboration programme was embedded into both Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) corporate programme and a number of work streams remained open and are operating within the scope phase.
During the last quarter North West Ambulance Service had identified a single point of contact to operate in the project lead role and the officer for each of the three blue light services have attended a planning meeting.
Since the last Planning Committee meeting developments within business as usual activities have concluded collaborative benefits with regards to specialist protective clothing for LFRS National Incident Liaison Officers, a shared Business Continuity Plan for bulk fuel stocks and a memorandum of understanding has been drafted with regards to shared utilisation of the four drones held across LFRS (2) and Lancashire Constabulary (2).
There were a number of long-term projects that remained in scope phase and this report provided an update with regards to the fire crime scene investigation accreditation, public order training and real time demand management.
Fire crime scene investigation accreditation
A number of meetings had been held between Lancashire Constabulary and LFRS in relation to the ongoing Fire Investigation International Standards Organisation (ISO) process; these meetings had formed the basis of an agreement including a Project Initiation Document and Terms of Reference. Joint project leads continued to work closely in order to identify the national developments of the new Fire Investigation standards in order to embed best practice for arson fire management within the county. Lancashire Police Quality Manager and an LFRS Incident Intelligence Officer attended a recent NFCC National Fire Investigation Accreditation update, some of the outcomes included:
The Forensic Science Regulator had agreed to put back the implementation date of the ISO until October 2021.
A small-scale forensic company had agreed to carry out a ‘dry run’ assessment with Fire and Rescue Services in order to see what the real issues were with the process. This took place in late 2019 and they would publish the results shortly which would inform next steps.
The emerging national position was identifying that many fire and rescue services were shaping draft agreements with their respective police force in order to discharge their fire investigation duties under a Section 22a collaborative arrangement. LFRS and Lancashire Constabulary were awaiting further clarity from the National Fire Chiefs Council and National Police Chiefs Council leads before determination could be made on next steps. Further clarity was anticipated at the next stakeholder meeting programmed for May 2020.
Real Time Demand Management
The collaborative ambition sought to establish whether there were opportunities to route specific aspects of ‘Real Time Demand’ from Lancashire Constabulary’s Contact Management Centre to LFRS’ North West Fire Control (NWFC). This would see LFRS as the primary responders to such incident types, wherein there had been a variable response to date, based upon the information passed by the caller into the 999 control room.
In practical terms ... view the full minutes text for item 21/19
The Assistant Chief Fire Officer presented the report.
In January 2020, HMICFRS released the ‘State of Fire Report’ which was the annual assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of fire and rescue services in England, based on the 45 inspections carried out between June 2018 and August 2019.
The report provided a summary of the performance of the 45 fire and rescue services against the 3 inspection pillars of effectiveness, efficiency and people and provided a comparator for the high levels of performance delivered by Lancashire when considered against peers nationally.
The report highlighted that the sector had many strengths but that ongoing improvement was required. Whilst acknowledging that many of the negative statements within the report exist nationally, it was pleasing that these were not representative of the picture that was reflected within LFRS.
The State of Fire report provided strategic recommendations on reforms needed, to ensure that modern fire and rescue services could be provided which were fit for the future. The report recommended:
1. By June 2020, the Home Office, in consultation with the fire and rescue sector, should review and with precision determine the roles of: (a) fire and rescue
services; and (b) those who work in them.
2. By June 2020, the Home Office, the Local Government Association, the National Fire Chiefs Council and trade unions should consider whether the current pay negotiation machinery requires fundamental reform. If so, this should include
the need for an independent pay review body and the future of the ‘grey book’.
3. By September 2020, the Home Office should consider the case for legislating to give chief fire officers operational independence. In the meantime, it should issue clear guidance, possibly through an amendment to the Fire and Rescue National
Framework for England, on the demarcation between those responsible for governance and operational decision making by the chief fire officer.
4. By December 2020, the National Fire Chiefs Council, with the Local Government Association, should produce a code of ethics for fire and rescue services. The code should be adopted by every service in England and considered as part of each employee’s progression and annual performance appraisal.
Second inspection confirmed
The dates for the second inspection of LFRS had been confirmed as week commencing 11th May 2020. For the second inspection our former Service Liaison Lead (SLL), Dave Dryburgh would hand over to his replacement, Jo Hayden (Programme and Planning Manager for Nottinghamshire FRS). It was anticipated that the Service would meet with the new SLL following their formal HMICFRS training in February. Meantime work was ongoing within Service to meet key dates within the timeline: –
· Data Return – last week of January 2020.
· Preparation of LFRS Self-Assessment against the inspection framework, prior to Discovery Week.
· Document return – (awaiting the request but previously this constituted 53 service level documents).
· Discovery week – initial visit by a few members of the inspection team, confirmed as week commencing 20th April.
· Inspection week – full inspection team into Service, ... view the full minutes text for item 22/19
Risk Based Inspection Programme
The Assistant Chief Fire Officer introduced Watch Manager Kevin Leece who gave a presentation on an evaluation of the Risk Based Inspection Programme.
It was noted that the evaluation was a 3-month project between Lancaster University, LFRS and Surety Fire Solutions which provided a dissertation module for a Data Science MSc course. The aims were provided by LFRS, based around evaluating our Risk-Based Inspection Programme (RBIP). A project plan was created to meet those aims and the result of the project was a prioritised list of changes to the RBIP.
The current risk-based inspection programme involved using 11 of the attributes available for each property to attribute weightings to each property which when multiplied together give that property an overall risk score.
Throughout the process of evaluation several measurable aspects of risk were identified where the RBIP could be evaluated. Alternative models were built (which also included new attributes) to try and predict the different aspects of risk. These were machine learning models including linear
regression and tree-based models. Each model was evaluated for each aspect and the best performing models were compared to the RBIP. The findings from the alternative models were then used to create an alternative combined model which was compared directly to the RBIP. The findings from this comparison resulted in the recommendations given at the end of the project which were to: -
1. Increase the weighting of Primary Fires Attribute;
2. Increase the FSEC code weighting for Shops;
3. Decrease the FSEC code weighting for Public Buildings;
4. Change the FSEC group weighting rankings to match the alternative combined model;
5. Include the Emergency Response Time attribute;
6. Include the Audit Indicator attribute;
7. Consider dropping the Flood Warning Area, Heritage, External attributes;
8. Consider combining the FSEC score weight and FSEC weight;
9. Consider dropping the CFRMIS Risk Score attribute.
In summary the evaluation concluded that the RBIP proved to be an effective and flexible model. The project results allowed some well supported recommendations. However, since the RBIP was based on sound principles and was effective, it was too valuable to be changed dramatically.
It was noted that the recommendations had been implemented and that the RBIP was being promoted within the North West Region and also nationally via the National Fire Chief Councils risk working group. In addition, this type of evaluation was being progressed for other LFRS products as it had proven to be very cost effective.
Following the presentation, County Councillor Eaton asked what the timescales were for responsible persons to make changes if LFRS identified areas during audits. WM Leece explained that it would depend on how serious the failing was e.g. prohibition would be immediate or enforcement may be up to 28 days, a re-inspection would take place and prosecutions could be taken if they failed to comply.
RESOLVED: - That the report be noted.
Date of Next Meeting
The next scheduled meeting of the Committee has been agreed for 10:00 hours on 13 July 2020 in the Main Conference Room, at Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Fulwood.
A further meeting is scheduled for 16 November 2020.
The next meeting of the Committee would be held on Monday 13 July 2020 at 1000 hours in the main Conference Room at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Fulwood.
A further meeting date was noted for 16 November 2020.