Venue: Virtual Meeting accessible via MS Teams and YouTube (as a live webcast)
Contact: Diane Brooks, Principal Member Services Officer. Tel: 01772 866720 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chairman, County Councillor Holgate welcomed Authority Members and members of the press and public to the first virtual committee meeting of the Performance Committee. He advised that in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic the Government had made regulations that enabled virtual meetings. This meeting was accessible for Committee Members via Microsoft Teams and for members of the press and public via a live webcast on YouTube.
The Committee Members individually confirmed their attendance at the start of the meeting.
Apologies For Absence
Apologies for absence were received from County Councillor Stansfield.
Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests
Members are asked to consider any pecuniary/non-pecuniary interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the agenda.
In response to a question raised by CC Riggott, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer confirmed that in relation to 1.3, Accidental Dwelling Fires quarter 2 activity was 213 with the previous year quarter 2 activity 196; this represented an increase of 8.67% (and not a decrease as stated in the report).
Further to the update presented by Mr Basson, North West Fire Control at the last meeting, CC Hennessy requested an update in relation to Fire Control staff recruitment and turnover. The Deputy Chief Fire Officer agreed to investigate and report back to CC Hennessy after the meeting.
RESOLVED: - That, subject to the above amendment the Minutes of the last meeting held on the 28 November 2019 be confirmed as a correct record for signature by the Chairman.
The Chairman introduced, Deputy Chief Fire Officer David Russel who presented the report.
The Deputy Chief Fire Officer advised Members that this was the 4th quarterly report for 2019/20 as detailed in the Risk Management Plan 2017-2022 and it included an Annual Report on Road Safety Intervention Activity during 2019/20.
Members examined each indicator in turn as follows:-
KPI 1 – Preventing, fires and other emergencies from happening and Protecting, people and property when fires happen
This indicator measured the fire risk in each Super Output Area. Risk was determined using fire activity over the previous 3 fiscal years along with a range of demographic data, such as population and deprivation.
The standard was to reduce the risk in Lancashire – an annual reduction in the County risk map score.
The current score 31,816, previous year score 32,114.
1.2 Overall Activity
This indicator measured the number of incidents that the Service attended with one or more pumping appliances.
Quarter 4 activity 3,851, previous year quarter 4 activity 3,575 an increase of 7.72% over the same quarter.
Incidents attended consisted of a myriad of different types. The report presented a chart which represented the count and percentage that each activity had contributed to the overall quarter’s activity; most notably was that 47% were false alarms.
In response to a question from CC Clarke on whether the Service could impose a charge or penalty for repeat offenders the Deputy Chief Fire Officer advised that a robust approach was taken but no charge was applied. He confirmed there was a huge spread of alarm systems across the built environment and numbers of repeat offenders were not that high.
1.3 Accidental Dwelling Fires
This indicator reported the number of primary fires where a dwelling had been affected and the cause of the fire had been recorded as 'Accidental' or 'Not known'.
It was noted that quarter 4 activity was 201, the previous year quarter 4 activity was 185, which represented an increaseof 8.65% over the same quarter (not a decrease as stated in the report).
Total number of Accidental Dwelling Fires – Year to Date, 816
The Deputy Chief Fire Officer advised that the previous year activity of 815 was the lowest level in the previous 10 years and this year was on a similar level which reflected all the good work staff were doing to reduce risk and keep people safer from fire in their homes.
CC Hennessy felt that a press release should be issued to recognise this achievement and give staff credit for their good work.
1.3.1 Accidental Dwelling Fires – Extent of Damage (Fire Severity)
This indicator reported the number of primary fires where a dwelling had been affected and the cause of the fire had been recorded as ‘Accidental or Not known’ presented as a percentage extent of fire and heat damage.
The extent of fire and heat damage ... view the full minutes text for item 23/19
Date of Next Meeting
The next scheduled meeting of the Committee has been agreed for 10:00 hours on 16 September 2020, venue to be confirmed.
A further meeting date is scheduled for 16 December 2020.
The next meeting of the Committee would be held on Wednesday 16 September 2020 at 1000 hours – venue to be confirmed.
A further meeting date was noted for 16 December 2020.
Urgent Business - Appeal to Stop the use of Disposable Barbecues in the Countryside
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.
The Chairman asked for an update on the progress made regarding the appeal made by the Service for people to stop using disposable barbecues in the countryside following two large wildfires in the county.
The Deputy Chief Fire Officer advised that the 2 significant moorland fires were in Longridge and Darwen. Assistant Chief Fire Officer Norman was in charge and he declared this a major incident because of the collective impact of these fires. Lessons learned from Winter Hill enabled the incidents to be dealt with swiftly and partnership arrangements worked seamlessly. Everyone connected with LFRS had been appalled by the behaviours of some people who appeared to have an utter absence of regard to public safety or the impact on the environment if a fire got out of control, whether that was in relation to barbeques, smoking materials or lighting fires.
On the specific issue of disposable barbeques, which have been problematic in the past and were problematic in the 2 recent incidents, the Chief Fire Officer had a strong view and had been very vocal to state that these should be unequivocally banned. The Chief had also made contact with Chief Executives of local authorities who have agreed in principle to start to try and ban and progressively eradicate the use of them in open moorland areas.
The next step for the Service was to work with major suppliers within the county ie: supermarket type outlets with the aim of gaining agreement to remove these items from their stores.
RESOLVED: - That the report be noted.