Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting accessible via MS Teams and YouTube (as a live webcast)

Contact: Diane Brooks, Principal Member Services Officer  Tel: 01772 866720 Email:  dianebrooks@lancsfirerescue.org.uk

Link: View the virtual Teams meeting here

Items
No. Item

76/19

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from County Councillors Tony Martin, Lorraine Beavers, Margaret Pattison, David Stansfield and George Wilkins.

77/19

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.

Minutes:

None received.

78/19

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: - That the Minutes of the last meeting held on 27 November 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

79/19

Year End Revenue Outturn 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 459 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Corporate Services presented the report.  He advised that the lengthy agenda was due to the cancellation of the March and May meetings. 

 

This report presented the revenue outturn position and the impact of this on usable reserves.  The overall outturn position showed an overspend of £248k after allowing for the potential costs of backdating for pensionable allowances (the impact of this was reported in the Year End Usable Reserves and provisions Outturn later on the agenda).

 

The annual budget for the year was set at £56.051m.  The final outturn position showed net expenditure of £56.300m, giving a total overspend for the financial year of £248k.  As set out in the Year End Usable Reserves and Provisions Outturn report (reported elsewhere on the agenda) it was proposed to transfer £38k to the DFM earmarked reserves and to balance draw down £286k from the general reserve.

 

The final position differed from the forecast of £0.1m underspend in the November meeting due to:

 

·        In March confirmation was received from Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) that the previously reported potential shortfall of £0.273m Section 31 grant relating to Business Rates Relief for 2019/20 would be paid and the sum was received in March.

·        The National Business Rates (NNDR) Levy fund surplus allocation income being paid to LFRS before the end of the financial year.  The NNDR Levy Fund was created by the Government to fund business rates safety net grant payments from previously held back NNDR monies, any unused funds were now being redistributed, with LFRS receiving £53k.  (Notification of this was received at the end of February, with no prior indication).

·        The national government exercise to audit the Section 31 grants in relation to Business Rates Reliefs for 2018/19 had now been completed, and as a result the Authority would receive a further £40k from Central Government in relation to this.  (Confirmation of this was received at the end of February, with no prior indication of this amount).

·        It had been previously reported that any costs of backdating pensionability of various allowances had not been included as it was anticipated this would be applicable in 2020/21.  Subsequently, the Authority had made an offer to the representative bodies of backdating which, although still under discussion, now included £0.6m of potential backdating costs in the year end outturn as presented.

 

The detailed final revenue position was set out in Appendix 1, with major variances being summarised in the report.

 

Delivery against savings targets

It was noted that performance exceeded the efficiency target for the year largely due to savings in respect of staffing costs and procurement savings. 

 

RESOLVED: - That the Committee noted and endorsed the outturn position on the 2019/20 revenue budget, the associated drawdown of £286k from general reserves and the transfer of £38k to the DFM earmarked reserve.

80/19

Year End Capital Outturn 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Minutes:

The report presented the year end position for the Authority’s capital programme including how this had been financed and the impact of slippage from the 2019/20 capital programme into the 2020/21 programme. 

 

The year end position for the Authority’s capital programme showed total expenditure of £2.9m compared with the budget of £3.6m, with the difference being slippage of £0.6m and an underspend of £0.1m.  It was noted that slippage was a timing issue dependent on the progress of capital schemes and not an indication of future underspends.  The Director of Corporate Services highlighted:

 

·        Pumping Appliances - slippage of £338k related to delays in build, as design issues of the crew cab were finalised.  Delivery was still expected during the financial year however this had been impacted by covid-19 as the supplier who was based in Scotland had been subjected to stringent lockdown measures. 

 

In response to a question raised by County Councillor O’Toole the Director of Corporate Services confirmed that there was a fixed price on the remaining vehicles and that quality assessments were done during the build and final delivery and there had been no significant issues on previous vehicles received under this contract.

 

·        ICT Systems – underspend of £211k.  Following a review of the need to replace or maintain systems 2 did not need replacing at this time hence the underspend.

 

·        Buildings – £4m capital project was ongoing at Training Centre for workshop development.  Revised pricing for that contract was currently awaited.  Initial design work had been included in the cost in 2019/20.  However, the whole budget had been transferred into next year and there was a slight overspend on the building element which was a timing issue.  The overall cost of the project was not known until the final price had been received from the contractor.  This gave an overspend this year.

 

The programme had been financed in year, from a combination of revenue contributions (£2.0m), the drawdown of capital reserves (£0.9m), as detailed in appendix 1 of the report.

 

Prudential Indicators 2019/20

Under the prudential framework the Authority was required to identify various indicators to determine whether the capital programme was affordable, prudent and sustainable.

 

The revised indicators, after allowing for the various changes to the capital programme, were set out in the report alongside the actual outturn figures which confirmed that performance had been within approved limits.

 

The Impact of Slippage from the 2019/20 Capital Programme into the 2020/21 Programme

The original approved capital programme for 2020/21 was £10.8m. This had been updated to reflect the final level of slippage of £0.6m, therefore the final proposed capital programme for 2020/21 was £11.4m, funded from capital grant, revenue contributions and capital reserves.   The revised programme and its funding were set out in appendix 2 and considered by Members.  Whilst it was certain that due to the covid-19 pandemic more slippage would occur during 2020/21, the effect of this was still being reviewed.  However, it was clear that there would be significant slippage in 2020/21.

 

Revised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80/19

81/19

Year End Treasury Management Outturn 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Minutes:

The report provided a broad view of the economic position.

 

COVID-19, spread across the globe in early 2020 causing falls in financial markets not seen since the Global Financial Crisis.

 

In response to the spread of the virus and sharp increase in those infected, the government enforced lockdowns, central banks and governments around the world cut interest rates and introduced massive stimulus packages in an attempt to reduce some of the negative economic impact to domestic and global growth.

 

The Bank of England, which had held policy rates steady at 0.75% through most of 2019/20, moved in March to cut rates to 0.25% from 0.75% and then swiftly thereafter brought them down further to the record low of 0.1%. In conjunction with these cuts, the UK government introduced a number of measures to help businesses and households impacted by a series of ever-tightening social restrictions, culminating in pretty much the entire lockdown of the UK. With similar impacts being felt around the world.

 

With the crisis there has been flight to quality in financial markets resulting in  gilts yields to fall substantially for example the 10-year benchmark yield fell from 1% to 0.4%.

 

Borrowing

The borrowing of the Fire Authority had remained unchanged at £2m in 2019/20. The current approved capital programme had no requirement to be financed from borrowing and the debt related to earlier years' capital programmes.  While the borrowing was above its Capital Financing Requirement (CFR), the underlying need to borrow for capital purposes, this was because the Fire Authority had a policy of setting aside monies in the form of statutory and voluntary minimum revenue provision (MRP) in order to repay debt as it matured or to make an early repayment.  Consideration had been given to repaying the £2m but as reported as part of the 2020/21 Treasury Management Strategy the penalties incurred on repaying the loans early would incur significant costs. Also any early repayment meant that cash balances available for investment would be reduced and hence interest receivable would also be reduced.  It was concluded that the repayment was not considered to be financially beneficial at the time. However, the situation was periodically reviewed by the Director of Corporate Services. 

 

Investments

Both the CIPFA Code and the MHCLG Guidance required the Authority to invest its funds prudently, and to have regard to the security and liquidity of its investments before seeking the highest rate of return, or yield. Throughout the year when investing money the key aim was to strike an appropriate balance between risk and return.

 

In order to reduce credit risk to the Authority, Lancashire County Council (credit rating by Moodys Aa3) was the main counterparty for the Authority's investments via the operation of a call account. However the Treasury Management Strategy did permit investment with other high quality counterparties including other local authorities. During the year the cash held by the Authority had been positive with the highest balance being £48.0m and the lowest £27.7m. Therefore, given that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81/19

82/19

Year End Usable Reserves and Provisions Outturn 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Minutes:

The report presented the year end outturn position in respect of usable reserves and provisions based on the information reported in the Revenue Outturn, Capital Outturn and Treasury Management Outturn reports.

 

The Authority approved the reserves and balances policy as part of its budget setting process, in February, with the year-end outturn position being reported to Resources committee and included in the statement of accounts.  The previously reported Revenue Outturn, Capital Outturn and Treasury Management Outturn all fed the Authority’s overall reserves position, which was considered by Members as summarised in the report.

 

General Reserve

These were non-specific reserves kept to meet short/medium term unforeseeable expenditure and to enable significant changes in resources or expenditure to be properly managed in the medium term.

 

The Authority needed to hold an adequate level of general reserves in order to provide:-

 

·        A working balance to help cushion the impact of uneven cash flows and avoid unnecessary temporary borrowing;

·        A contingency to cushion the impact of unexpected events;

·        A means of smoothing out large fluctuations in spending requirements and/or funding available.

 

As a precepting Authority any surpluses or deficits were transferred into/out of reserves in order to meet future potential commitments, and as such the balance of the deficit on the revenue budget, £286k, had been drawn down from this reserve.  After allowing for transfers the Authority now held a General fund balance of £7.9m. This was within the target range agreed by the Authority at its February meeting, £3.0m to £10.0m. 

 

Earmarked Reserves

The reserve covered all funds, which had been identified for a specific purpose. The overall reserves level reduced slightly from £8.0m to £7.8m, with the detailed position in respect of the various earmarked reserves considered by Members as set out in the report.

 

The Director of Corporate Services highlighted:

 

PFI Equalisation Reserve – This reserve was to smooth out the annual net cost to the Authority of both PFI schemes, and would be required to meet future contract payments.  The level of reserve required to meet future contract payments had been updated to reflect current and forecast inflation levels. 

 

Public Works Loan Board – This reserve was created to meet the potential penalty costs associated with repayment of the remaining PWLB loans however, given the reducing likelihood of repaying the loans with such a large penalty, the balance was transferred into the Capital Funding Reserve as part of the 2020/21 budget setting process.

 

Insurance Aggregate Stop Loss – The Authority had aggregate stop losses on both its combined liability insurance policy (0.4m) and its motor policy (0.3m).  This meant that in any one year the Authority’s maximum liability for insurance claims was capped at the aggregate stop losses.  As such the Authority could either meet the costs direct from its revenue budget or could set up an earmarked reserve to meet these.  Lancashire had chosen to meet the potential costs through a combination of the two.  Hence the amount included in the revenue budget reflected charges in a typical year  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82/19

83/19

Unaudited Statement of Accounts 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report presented the Unaudited Statement of Accounts for the financial year ended 31 March 2020. 

 

The Statement of Accounts took account of the information presented in the Year End Revenue Outturn, Year End Capital Outturn, Year End Treasury Management Outturn and Year End Usable Reserves and Provisions Outturn reports and were prepared in line with recommended accounting practice which was not accounted for on the same basis as we accounted for council tax.  As such this meant they did not match the details in the Outturn reports, and hence the sections provided an overview of each statement and a reconciliation between Outturn reports and the Core Financial statements where appropriate.

 

It was noted that the Statement presented assumed that the Authority’s 25% share of North West Fire Control Ltd draft year end position for 2019/20.

 

Members noted that there would be a further pensions adjustment in respect of the recent HMT consultation on the McCloud/Sargeant remedy, estimated by our actuaries to reduce the Firefighters pension scheme liabilities by up to 1% (up to £8.1m).  Once our actuaries had completed the additional analysis, any changes required would be built in to the final version of the Statement of Accounts.

 

Narrative Report

This set out the financial context in which the Combined Fire Authority operated, and provided an overview of the financial year 2019/20 as well as details of future financial plans. 

 

Statement of Accounts

This reflected the position the Authority had reached in connection with corporate governance, including internal controls and risk management, including a review of the effectiveness of those arrangements as reported to Audit Committee in July 2020.

 

Auditors Report and Opinion

This would set out the Auditor’s opinion on the Statement of Accounts and would be included on completion of the audit which commenced in August.

 

Statement of Responsibilities

This set out the responsibilities of the Authority and the Treasurer in terms of overall management of the Authority’s finances and in terms of the production of the annual accounts.

 

Comprehensive income and expenditure account

This statement showed the accounting cost in the year of providing services. It was a summary of the resources that had been generated and consumed in providing services and managing the Authority during the last year. It included all day-to-day expenses and related income on an accruals basis, as well as transactions measuring the value of fixed assets actually consumed and the real projected value of retirement benefits earned by employees in the year.  

 

Movement in reserves statement

This statement showed the movement in the year on the different reserves held by the Authority, analysed into i) Usable Reserves (those that the Authority may use to provide services or reduce local taxation, subject to the need to maintain a prudent level of reserves and any statutory limitations on their use) and ii) Unusable Reserves (which include reserves that hold unrealised gains and losses where amounts would only become available to provide services if the assets were sold; and reserves that hold timing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83/19

84/19

Property Asset Management Plan pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Corporate Services presented to Members the Property Asset Management Plan which adopted a document framework that comprised a suite of four documents:

 

1.    Property Policy Framework;

2.    Asset Management Plan Progress Report;

3.    Property Performance Report, and;

4.    A 5 year Action Plan.

 

Property Policy Framework

This section looked across the whole portfolio and set out how that portfolio would be used in furtherance of the Service's strategic aims.  The Authority's property assets had a book value of over £85m and comprised of the following assets:

 

·        Service Headquarters;

·        Service Training Centre;

·        39 Stations:

o   7 Wholetime (including 2 with a retained appliance as well);

o   17 Retained;

o   4 Day Crew (including 2 with a retained appliance as well);

o   11 Day Crew Plus (including 8 with a retained appliance as well);

·        Urban Search and Rescue;

·        1 lease granted to Prince’s Trust.

 

The Authority's vision for property assets had 6 key elements:

 

1.    Maintained in a good state of repair;

2.    Fit for purpose;

3.    Future proof;

4.    Environmentally sustainable;

5.    Efficient in cost and use, and;

6.    Inclusive and accessible.

 

These key elements were used to assess the assets to determine what, if any investment was required and where this would be prioritised.

 

Asset Management Plan Progress Report

This set out the progress that had been made by the Service in improving the assets in use, towards an overall asset vision and how the Service was improving the alignment of the property portfolio with Service delivery needs.

 

Considerable improvement in the asset base had been made since 2006/07, with the Service how only having 2 assets that were classed as in poor condition and as being unsuitable:-

 

·                     Service Headquarters and;

·                     Preston Fire Station.

 

Property Performance Report

This set out how the performance of the property assets had been measured to date and the general direction and areas of performance that needed to be adopted going forward if the 5-year Action Plan was to be delivered.  It was anticipated that this Property Performance Report would be revised and refreshed each year.

 

5-Year Action Plan

The Director of Corporate Services highlighted key areas identified for property investment (as detailed on pages 196 and 197 of the agenda pack).  Members considered an analysis of where the gaps were and an Action Plan against which progress could be measured. 

The main action plan items were:-

 

·        Construction of Service Training Centre Workshop/Breathing Apparatus School;

·        Enhance welfare/sleeping facilities;

·        Re-provision of Service Headquarters, which was subject to the outcome of a business case; this would be presented as a summary report to the next Strategy Group which would now be scheduled for the end of November;

·        Re-provision of Preston Fire Station, which was subject to the outcome of a business case; and

·        Continue to review opportunities for site sharing.

 

The Director of Corporate Services stated that the Authority’s asset base was in a good position due to the investments made over the last 10-15 years. The challenge for the Authority was the balance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84/19

85/19

Financial Monitoring pdf icon PDF 474 KB

Minutes:

Revenue Budget

The overall position as at the end of June showed an underspend of £0.3m, largely as a result of reduced spend during the first quarter, due to the Covid-19 pandemic as planned expenditure was not progressed.  This position had continued throughout quarter 2, and although we were currently discussing with budget holders what impact this could have on their end of year budgetary position, clearly this would have significant impacts on the outturn position for 2020/21.

 

In terms of the year end forecast an initial forecast, based on trends and budget holder discussions were being worked through and would be reported at the next meeting.

 

The year to date positions within individual departments were set out in the report with major variances relating to non-pay spends and variances on the pay budget being shown separately in the table below: -

 

Area

Overspend/ (Under spend) to 30 June

Reason

 

£’000

 

Service Delivery

(68)

The underspend for the first quarter largely related to the reduced activity levels, in particular for car allowances and smoke detector purchases.

Covid-19

-

We received a further £1.1m S31 grant in May 2020, in addition to the £0.3m received in March, taking the total funding received to £1.4m.  We had spent £0.9m to date, comprising PPE, cleaning and decontamination equipment and ICT hardware/software.  The balance was held in an earmarked reserve.  

Training & Operational Review

(30)

The current underspend largely related to training courses expected to take place during the quarter, it seemed unlikely that these could be caught up before the end of the financial year.

Information Technology

(90)

In addition to the pandemic impacts on business as usual spending, savings from the phased introduction of the new Wide Area Network occurred in the quarter where the first three months service were free of charge whilst the network was fully implemented.

Property

(95)

The underspend position related to planned premises repairs and maintenance, which could not be carried out and this had continued into the second quarter.

Wholetime Pay (including associate trainers)

(50)

In anticipation of reduced staffing levels due to the pandemic 16 existing On Call staff who had been successful in the Wholetime recruitment campaign and who were initially due to commence on the recruits course in September were allowed to commence riding Wholetime appliances in May. This would cease once they commenced on the recruits course in September. The additional cost of this was offset by additional 8 early leavers since the budget was initially set.

In addition vacant posts were effectively budgeted at Firefighter rates, however there were a number of vacancies within TOR, Fire Safety and Service Development at higher grades, resulting in a further underspend.

RDS Pay

135

The overspend reflected activity related payments for the first three months, which could be attributed to several moorland fire incidents during the period, a 36% higher activity level than the corresponding quarter last year.  We would monitor the situation over the coming months and update in due course.

Support staff (less  ...  view the full minutes text for item 85/19

86/19

Pension Board - Firefighter Pension Scheme Transition Protection Consultation pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Minutes:

The Director of People and Development presented the report.  In April 2015 a new firefighters pension scheme commenced replacing the 1992 and 2006 schemes.  The Government’s original proposals were to address the rising cost of the legacy schemes to the public purse, ensuring sustainability whilst still providing appropriate pensions. The main changes were an alteration from a final salary to a career average scheme with an increased normal pension age and the introduction of a cost control mechanism. It was always clear that the structure of the 1992 scheme was superior to the 2015 scheme, although the contribution rates were higher. 

 

As part of the 2015 reforms, those within 10 years of retirement remained in the legacy scheme with tapered protection being given for individuals within a further 4 years of their retirement date. The protection was given following negotiations with the FBU and was intended to give protection and certainty to people who were close to retirement. After introduction the FBU undertook court proceedings arguing that the transition protection was age discriminatory.  In December 2018 the Court of Appeal found that the transition protection unlawfully discriminated against younger members of the judicial (who also undertook court action) and firefighters. The Courts required that this unlawful discrimination be remedied by the Government.

 

The Home Office therefore had issued a consultation document on proposals to address this adverse discriminatory finding by the High Court in respect of the Firefighters pension schemes.  It was noted that the consultation would end on 11 October 2020 and that it included a number of unfunded schemes and was not limited to the firefighter schemes (with Police, Teachers and NHS schemes being included but the Local Government Pension Scheme was subject to a separate consultation).  

 

The consultation proposals applied to all members of the 2015 scheme who were in employment before 31 March 2012 and also on or after 1 April 2015 including those with a qualifying break in service of less than 5 years. An individual would not be required to submit a legal claim. Any new entrant after 31 March 2012 was excluded. Until the 2015 scheme was live they were placed in 2006 scheme.  

 

The Government proposed that all eligible members would be given the choice of which set of scheme benefits was better for them for the period 1/4/2015 to 31/3/2022.

 

The basis for this option was dependent on an individual’s personal circumstances (in particular their earnings progression); overall in the public sector many members were likely to be better off in the reformed schemes. The Government was proposing to therefore allow individuals to have a choice rather than move everyone back into their legacy scheme. In Fire Service terms except in very unusual circumstances, it was highly unlikely that the 2015 benefits were better than their 1992 benefits over this period, but it became more likely comparing the 2006 with 2015 scheme benefits.    

 

The consultation requested comments on 24 questions.  Extending the transitional protection arrangements until 1/4/2022 to all staff seemed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86/19

87/19

Carbon Management Plan pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of People and Development presented the report.  The Service had participated in the Carbon Trust Carbon Management Programme during 2008/09.  A Carbon Management Team (CMT) was created to oversee the programme together with a programme board (Climate Change and Environment Programme Board).  This resulted in the production of a Carbon Management Plan which was agreed by CFA Resources Committee in March 2009.  Regular update reports were presented to the Combined Fire Authority, currently through the Annual Safety, Health and Environment Report.

 

It was noted that a target of 20% carbon emissions reduction by March 2013 was set by the Authority with a long-term target of 40% reduction by 2020. A revised target of 40% reduction by 2030 was proposed as the visionary long-term target for 2020 included a potential move from Service Headquarters to Service Training Centre.

 

Progress was measured against a ‘business as usual’ baseline i.e. the anticipated position if no action was taken.  The forecast was that carbon emissions from buildings and fuel use would increase from 4,352 to 5,074 tonnes by March 2030 without any mitigating action.  The target set was to reduce carbon emission to 2609 tonnes.  At March 2020 carbon emissions was 3347 tonnes showing a saving of 1005 tonnes.

 

It was noted that the target set was challenging but a decrease in carbon emissions had been achieved across gas, electricity and fuel use but not at the rate anticipated.  This included reductions in electricity use of 7.6%, gas 38% and fuel 23.8%.  In addition a reduction of 30% had been achieved for water use.  To continue this trend Environmental Champions have been introduced to change staff behaviour and support the Carbon Management Plan.

 

Monthly collation of electricity, gas, and fuel and water data commenced in 2011/12 on all LFRS premises.  It was now possible to compare the monthly data this year with the data last year enabling further scrutiny of the data by the Carbon Management Team.  This information enabled new projects to be delivered in premises that would have the most impact.

 

The monthly meter readings collected on each premises allowed for projects to be targeted to where there was the greatest need.  Usage was analysed by the CMT and this had resulted in a number of cost savings and carbon emission reductions such as: challenges being made to utility companies from inaccurate bills; station staff over-riding heating controls; heating systems being left on; investigations into water leaks; spikes in usage providing useful management information e.g. wildfires increased fuel use and flooding resulted in increased energy use for drying kit; fleet vehicle usage for various roles based on historic provision rather than current need and departmental plans being prioritised to deliver savings where needed most. The data collected was also used to produce certificates which had to be displayed in our buildings

 

There were a number of risks and issues that might have an impacted on achieving continued carbon emission and cost savings and meeting the reduction target.

 

·        Extreme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87/19

88/19

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of People and Development presented the report. 

 

The Annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Report, as now presented, documented the Service’s performance in relation to meeting its legal duties over the year 2019 – 2020, the workforce profile as at 31 March 2020 and future plans for the Service 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. 

 

The report demonstrated how obligations to recognise diversity, value inclusion and promote equality were met and reflected the work done within our diverse communities as well as reporting key equality data / information.

 

The report contained information on: i) corporate planning and the approach taken to equality and diversity; ii) the comparison and equality profile of the workforce; and iii) an overview of equality-related activities.

 

It was noted that due to the covid-19 pandemic, the government had removed the requirements related to Gender Pay Gap reporting. 

 

County Councillor Hennessy requested the equality and diversity of Members on the Authority be recognised.

 

RESOLVED: - That the Committee noted the report.

89/19

Organisational Development Plan pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Organisational Development Plan was presented by the Director of People and Development.  The document was a dynamic and evolving plan as more issues were identified or their importance increased or decreased and approaches to address deficiencies were progressed.

 

The report identified current issues and reflected the position before the impact of the current covid-19 pandemic. Changes as a result of this experience would need to be factored into actions taken when fully known and understood and the response determined; as would the developing picture in respect of the apparent deficits in the protection of the built environment impacted on proposals for the Protection activity. Progress would be impacted by the availability of funding. However the plan demonstrated the thrust in respect of organisational development and measures being developed and progressed.

 

The Organisational Development Plan was part of a suite of plans which explained the interventions that supported the achievement of our mission and values and how we developed all of our employees to provide a safe, competent, healthy and representative workforce who demonstrate LFRS cultural values and behaviours.

 

The Organisational Development Plan flowed from the overarching strategic plans of LFRS and linked people management into the operational business process. Development of the plan had taken into consideration the requirements of the NFCC National Fire and Rescue People Strategy and the recommendations of the Inclusive Fire Service Group.

 

Expectations from staff within our Annual Service Plan and our values defined how we STRIVE to achieve our purpose of “making Lancashire safer” by making sure what we do is guided by strong principles of:

 

·        Service: Making Lancashire safer is the most important thing we do.

·        Trust: We Trust the people we work with.

·        Respect: We respect each other.

·        Integrity: We do what we say we will do.

·        Value: We actively listen to others.

·        Empowered: We contribute to decision making and improvements; 

 

In light of the changing environment and the need for a workforce that was equipped to support these changes; one that was confident in its abilities, had adaptable skills and was able to act with authority and responsibility. The Service was focused on the development of a strong organisational culture based on clear values and leadership. 

 

The Organisational Plan detailed the activity that had been delivered so far and that which would be delivered over the next twelve months in terms of delivering the Service ambitions in respect of leadership, organisational culture, professionalism and technical ability.

 

RESOLVED: - That the Committee noted the report.

90/19

Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Committee has been agreed for 10:00 hours on 25 November 2020 in – venue to be agreed.

 

Further meetings are proposed for:    24 March 2021, 07 July 2021 and 29 September 2021

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Committee would be held on Wednesday, 25 November 2020, venue to be confirmed.

 

Further meeting dates were agreed for 24 March 2021, 7 July 2021 and 29 September 2021.

91/19

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Committee is asked to consider whether, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, they consider that the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, indicated under the heading to the item.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: - That the press and members of the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, indicated under the heading to the item.

92/19

ISO 45001:2018 Health and Safety and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Assessment Audit Reports

Minutes:

(Paragraphs 1 and 2)

 

The Director of People and Development presented the report which included a comprehensive and confidential appendix. 

 

ISO 45001 and ISO 14001 were international best practice standards for how organisations managed Health and Safety and the Environment.  The specifications gave requirements for occupational health and safety and environmental management systems to enable an organisation to control its risks and improve performance.  Each year the Service was externally audited to ensure both these systems continually improved and met the needs of the Service.

 

Commencing 26 February 2020 LFRS was audited for 7 days.  The British Assessment Bureau carried out the audit against the 2 standards.  The Service had now received a joint audit report for both systems which had no major or minor non-conformances or opportunities for improvement included.

 

It was noted that as part of the audit, where areas for improvement had been identified by LFRS staff, it was intended these be developed into an internal, improvement action plan which would be taken forward by the Health, Safety and Environment Advisory Group.

 

RESOLVED: - That the report be noted and endorsed.

93/19

High Value Procurement Projects

Minutes:

(Paragraph 3)

 

Members considered a report that provided an update on all contracts for one-off purchases valued in excess of £100,000 and high value procurement projects in excess of £100,000 including: new contract awards, progress of ongoing projects and details of new projects.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Committee noted the report.