London Fire Brigade

Agenda and minutes

London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Rooms 4&5 - City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2AA. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Arnold, Ground Floor, 169 Union Street, London, SE1 OLL; telephone: 020 8555 1200 ext 30084; e-mail:  REBECCA.ARNOLD@london-fire.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received on behalf of Andrew Boff AM.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Minutes of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’s Annual Meeting held on 2 December  2015.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The motion was made by the Chairman – that the minutes of the Authority meeting held on 2 December 2015 be signed as a correct record.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor David Cartwright QFSM, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

The minutes were thereupon signed by the Chairman.

 

Andrew Dismore AM requested an update in relation to question no. 442 on page 23 of the Agenda, namely in relation to recent conservations between the Mayor and the Chairman regarding forthcoming Mayoral Directions. The Chairman confirmed that he would provide an update on that matter under Agenda Item 6 (2016/17 Budget Update). 

3.

Minutes of Appointments and Urgency Committee pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes of the meeting  of the Appointments and Urgency Committee  held on 7 December 2015.

Minutes:

The motion was made by the Chairman – that the minutes of the Appointments and Urgency Committee meeting held on 7 December 2015 be signed as a correct record.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor David Cartwright QFSM, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

The minutes were thereupon signed by the Chairman.

4.

Special Announcements by the Chairman and reports by the Chairman or the Clerk to the Authority of any Communications

Minutes:

The Chairman referred to the range of honours and awards received by Brigade staff in the previous few months:

 

·         In Her Majesty’s New Years Honours list, Dave Brown, Director of Operations, had been awarded the Queens Fire Service Medal for his hard work and commitment to the Brigade and to London as a whole;

 

·         The Brigade had won four trophies at the annual Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards: Danielle Cotton, Director of Safety & Assurance, had won Most Influential Woman in Fire; Team of the Year had been the Fire Cadets; Partnership of the Year had been the National Operational Guidance Programme; and Training Provider of the Year had been  the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation's Trauma Team;

 

·         In October, the Brigade’s Trauma Team had come first in the World challenge;

 

·         In December, the Brigade had won the best use of social media award with it’s 50 Shades of Red campaign, which had highlighted some of the more embarrassing incidents the Brigade has attended; and

 

·         In the Fire Safety Department, Nick Coombe had been made a fellow by the Board of the Institution of Fire Engineers; Senior Fire Engineer Gareth Steele had recently been awarded a MSc Fire Safety Engineering Degree (Award of Distinction); and Phil Davies had won ‘Life Saver of the Year’ and the overall ‘Special Achievement Award’ at the UK Heart Safe Awards for his courage and heroism during an incident whilst off duty.

 

The Chairman announced that crews from Walthamstow Fire Station had raised £580 in just 18 days for 12 children who had to spend their Christmas in Whipps Cross Hospital. The Blue Watch from Walthamstow had visited the children on Christmas Day and handed out new toy sets for the Acorn Ward Children’s playroom.

The Chairman stated that, on 24 December 2015, the Brigade had received a call to a Fire at South End, Croydon, in a terraced three storey shop and dwellings. On route crews had been  informed of two Fire Survival calls, one for a family of five and the second for a couple in an adjoining property.  On arrival, breathing apparatus crews had been deployed to the second floor to fire fight, force entry and to search for the family. The family had all been located and brought to safety.  A second breathing apparatus crew had located the couple and they had been led to safety from the first floor.

The Chairman announced that, in December 2015, the Fire Safety Department and Legal Services had secured the Authority’s biggest ever fine against a private individual after successfully prosecuting a Bayswater hotelier, who put lives at risk by flouting fire safety laws.  The individual had been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £29,922 court costs after pleading guilty to seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  He was also handed a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

The Chairman placed on record the Authority’s congratulations to all those concerned.

5.

Disclosures of Interests and Dispensations

Clerk to the Authority – known details of membership of the GLA, other functional bodies and London Boroughs are attached as an Appendix to this Agenda.  The Appendix does not remove the need for a Member to declare at the meeting an interest (whether or not listed in the Appendix) in any relevant item on the agenda paper and to state also the nature of that interest 

Minutes:

Resolved – That the details of membership of the GLA, other functional bodies and London Boroughs, as attached as an appendix to the agenda, be noted.  No further disclosures were made.

6.

2016/17 Budget Update - FEP 2551 A/B pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Director of Finance and Contractual Services – report FEP2551 on the latest budget position.

(Resources Committee – 14 January 2016 decision attached.)

 

Commissioner and Director of Finance and Contractual Services - supplementary report FEP2551A  providing additional information,  presenting the key points of the Mayor’s Consolidated Budget for 2016/17, reporting on the outcome of the public consultation that took place between 7 December 2015 and 1 February 2016 and recommending proposals to achieve a balanced budget in 2016/17.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report and supplementary report of the Commissioner and Director of Finance and Contractual Services. Second supplementary report of the Clerk to the Authority.

 

The Commissioner introduced the report and supplementary reports.

 

The Chairman moved the motion:

 

(1)               That the memo from the Resources Committee of 14 January 2016 and the report FEP 2551 be noted;

(2)               That, in order to achieve a balanced revenue budget for 2016/17, the Authority agrees the proposals set out in paragraphs 19 to 24 of the supplementary report FEP 2551A for Option B, which are summarised as follows:

·           A reduction of 13 appliances and associated establishment reductions.

 

·           An increase to the Fire Rescue Unit establishment of 56 Watch Manager A and 16 Firefighter posts.

 

·           A one off payment into the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) fund of £3.5m, which will result in an ongoing saving of £0.4m from 2017/18, subject to confirmation from the scheme actuary.

 

·           A one off investment into a community safety investment reserve of £1.0m, which would be spent by 31 March 2017;

 

(3)          That the Authority notes that the final decision on the 2016/17 budget, including the associated establishment changes and the capital programme, will be made by the Authority at its meeting in March 2016; and

           

(4)          That the Authority notes the letter from the Mayor’s Chief of Staff to the Chairman of LFEPA dated 11 February 2016 (as appended to the report FEP 2551B).

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor David Cartwright QFSM.

 

At 10.10am, the Chairman adjourned the meeting for five minutes in order to allow Members to read a motion that was proposed to be tabled in the name of Andrew Dismore AM, which it was noted would be formally moved should the Chairman’s motion fall. The Chairman explained that, in the interests of effective conduct of business, he would allow the debate to deal with both motions, noting that, at that point, only the Chairman's motion was formally before the meeting. The meeting resumed at 10.15am.

 

During the discussion on this item, the Chairman confirmed, in response to the query from Andrew Dismore AM outlined at Minute 2 above, that,  as set out in the supplementary report (FEP 2551B), the Mayor had now indicated that he was minded to direct the Authority on this matter and the Chairman had discussed that matter with him.

 

Following questions to the Commissioner and debate, the motion in the name of the Chairman was put to the vote. There were six (6) votes cast in favour of the motion and ten (10) votes cast against. The motion was declared to be lost. Councillor Maurice Heaster OBE requested that his vote in favour of the motion be recorded.

 

Andrew Dismore AM then moved the motion: That the Authority –

 

(1)               Takes note of the memorandum from the Resources Committee from its 14th January meeting; and in particular that:

The Committee believes that operational changes are best introduced, so far as possible, as part of a comprehensive package consequent on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Expenditure on Counsel's Fees in Relation to Lakanal House Litigation - FEP 2556 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services - seeking authority to incur further expenditure on counsel fees in relation to ongoing and potential litigation concerning Lakanal House and for the Head of Legal and Democratic Services’ delegation to be increased accordingly.

Minutes:

Report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

 

The Chairman moved the motion  - That the report be noted and that further consideration be given to the Part 2 report (FEP 2556 X).

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor David Cartwright QFSM, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

8.

Draft Programme of Authority and Committee Meetings for 2016-17 - FEP 2557 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Clerk to the Authority - presenting the proposed programme of Authority and committee meetings for the forthcoming municipal year (2016-17) for confirmation.

 

Minutes:

Report of the Clerk to the Authority.

 

The Clerk to the Authority introduced the report. It was noted that the proposed date for the Authority’s June 2016 Annual Meeting would be reviewed, once the date for the referendum on EU membership had been confirmed. In the event that the referendum fell on the date of the proposed Annual Meeting of the Authority, Dr Fiona Twycross AM requested that the meeting be rescheduled to an alternative Thursday.

 

The Chairman moved - That the programme of meetings for the Authority and its committees for the 2016-17 municipal year, as attached at Appendix A to the report, be agreed in principle, subject to formal confirmation at the Authority’s Annual Meeting in June 2016 and subject to the issue recorded above.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor David Cartwright QFSM, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

9.

Authority - Summary List of Actions - FEP 2558 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Clerk to the  Authority   setting out actions arising from previous meetings of the Authority.

Minutes:

Report by the Clerk to the Authority.

 

The Chairman moved  - That the report be noted.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor David Cartwright QFSM, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

10.

Questions from Members (in accordance with Standing Order 20) – 17 February 2016 – FEP 2559 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Clerk to the Authority – presenting questions received from Members to be answered by the Chairman of the Authority or the Commissioner. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Questions from Members for the meeting on 17 February 2016, published in the order received in accordance with Standing Order 20, are set out below with supplementary questions and the Chairman and Commissioner’s replies:

 

Questions received:

 

Question 446

From Darren Johnson AM

I recently attended a sustainability briefing session for firefighters at Richmond Fire Station and one of the issues that came up in the discussion afterwards was the lack of flexibility regarding heating controls in stations. It appears from the discussion that this has been one of the most common concerns raised by London firefighters keen to do their bit to improve the sustainability of stations. Can the Commissioner update me on what is being done to address this in order to add to the Brigade’s already commendable achievements on energy efficiency?

 

Commissioner’s written response

 We are aware of the issue raised at Richmond, which was identified during staff consultation sessions in preparation for the Brigade’s third Sustainable Development Strategy. As a result, the draft strategy, which will be presented to the Resources Committee in March for approval, includes an action to pilot provision of improved user control of heating, allowing on/off control. This will be up to a limit of 20°C, provided the external temperature is below 16°C. The aim is to reduce emissions and improve staff comfort.  The pilot will include support for staff to understand how to use the existing heating controls they have and the additional controls provided.  Richmond station in particular has an old heating system that is scheduled for replacement, which will improve both the performance of the heating and staff comfort. If the pilot proves successful we will consider extending the approach to other stations.

 

Darren Johnson AM:Thank you for the response. When I attended the sustainability presentation at Richmond I did ask the firefighters present at the end if there was one issue that they wanted me to take back to the Commissioner what would it be, and this overwhelmingly was the issue which was exercising them most. I’m glad that the pilot scheme is being looked at for Richmond but I would stress that the feedback wasn’t just about Richmond; it was across the Brigade, particularly the older fire stations. If this could be rolled out it would be well-received by firefighters.

 


 

Question 447

From Dr Fiona Twycross AM

Given that in London, the emergency services already work together on a regular basis, what additional areas of work and/or shared services do you anticipate are likely to be included as the result of the duty to collaborate between the emergency services?  

 

Commissioner’s written response

 I am very proud of the excellent partnerships that already exist between the emergency services in London. The co-responding pilot and our hosting of Exercise Unified Response, which will be the largest multi agency exercise ever to take place in London, are just two examples of this in action. Whilst the duty to collaborate will bring a welcome emphasis to that work, a joint team  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Authority is recommended to agree to exclude the public and press from the meeting, in accordance with paragraphs 5 and 7  of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), in order to consider the following item of business.

Minutes:

Resolved - That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) if the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting in order to consider the following item of business, on the grounds that it would be likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 5 and  7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

12.

Expenditure on Counsel's Fees in Relation to Lakanal House Litigation - FEP 2556X

The Head of Legal and Democratic Service - seeking authority to incur further expenditure on counsel fees in relation to ongoing and potential litigation concerning Lakanal House and for the Head of Legal and Democratic Services’ delegation to be increased accordingly.

Minutes:

Report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

 

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services introduced the report and answered questions from Members on points of detail.

 

During the discussion, the Commissioner confirmed that the issue of contributions towards costs would be raised with other fire and rescue authorities.

 

The Chairman moved the recommendation as set out in the report

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor David Cartwright QFSM, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.