London Fire Brigade

Agenda and minutes

London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority
Thursday, 29 September 2016 2.00 pm

Venue: City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2AA

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:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Sarah Hayward.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Minutes of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority meeting held on 30 June 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The motion was made by the Chair – that the minutes of the Authority meeting held on 30 June 2016 be signed as a correct record.

 

The motion was seconded by the Vice Chair, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

The minutes were thereupon signed by the Chair.

 

3.

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

Minutes:

The Chair announced the appointment of Dany Cotton as Interim Commissioner, effective from 1 January 2017, following a recruitment process that attracted a very strong field of candidates, with particular reference to the other internal candidate, and it was noted that this was also a testament to Dany Cotton’s skills and experience. The Authority was very proud to have appointed the first female chief fire officer in the UK. The Chair also clarified that, until January, Ron Dobson would remain very much in charge of the Brigade after which there would be a smooth transition between Commissioners.  However, there was still much work to be done by Ron Dobson and his team in the coming months.

 

The Chair announced that Dave Brown, Director of Operations, had given notice that he would soon be retiring. She paid tribute to his hard work and dedication during more than 30 years with the Brigade. 

 

Gareth Bacon AM endorsed the comments of the Chair regarding the appointment of Dany Cotton and commented on the retirement of Dave Brown by referring to the major improvements in fire safety that had taken place during his time with the service. He also paid tribute to the work of the outgoing Commissioner, Ron Dobson.

 

The Chair was pleased to report that, on Tuesday 5 July at the Royal Horticultural Show at Hampton Court, Watch Manager Simon Jakeman, one of the Authority’s leading Green Champions, won the Silver Gilt medal for his show garden 'Hoses, Rakes and Ladders'. He based his imaginative design on the themes of fire and water and used recycled materials and bedding plants based on the colours of the four watches.  Simon added a garden bench made by New Malden's blue watch from recycled fire hose.

 

The Chair reported that, on Wednesday 13 July 2016, the Brigade received the first of 90 calls to a fire in one of eight units within a single storey industrial estate.  On arrival crews found a fully developed fire in a building contractors unit that had already breached the roof and was spreading to a unit containing numerous works of historical art such as antique brasses, artworks and statues.  A significant salvage operation ensured that all of the artefacts were safely removed to a place of safety.  In total 15 pumping appliances, two turntable ladders and a hose layer lorry attended the fire.

 

The Chair announced that, on Wednesday 27 July 2016 the Brigade launched a new 'Total Recalls - making white goods safer' campaign, which aimed to make it easier for people to protect themselves from faulty electrical appliances that cause fires.  ‘Total Recalls’ highlighted the work of the Fire Investigation Team and called for the creation of a single national register of electrical  appliances; it also called on manufacturers to improve their production standards and for people to be encouraged to take simple fire safety precautions to reduce the fire risks that are associated with their white goods.

 

The Chair stated that, on Saturday 20 August,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Disclosures of Interests and Dispensations pdf icon PDF 79 KB

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 updated details of membership of the GLA, other functional bodies and London Boroughs, as tabled at the meeting and also attached at Appendix 1, be noted.  No further disclosures were made.

 

5.

Budget Update - FEP 2642 pdf icon PDF 502 KB

Director of Finance and Contractual Services – Presenting the latest medium term financial position and a four year efficiency plan.

 

[Resources Committee – 16 September 2016]

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Director of Finance and Contractual Services.

 

The Director of Finance and Contractual Services introduced the report.

 

Following discussion, during which some Members referred to statements made by the Mayor of London during the recent GLA elections campaign in relation to the level of resources available to the Brigade, the Chair moved the motion:

 

That the Authority:-

 

(1)       Notes the report; and

 

(2)       Approves the Draft Efficiency Plan as attached at Appendix 4 of the report FEP 2642, for submission to the GLA.

 

The motion was seconded by the Vice Chair, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

6.

Treasury Management Annual Report - FEP 2624 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Director of Finance and Contractual Services – reporting in accordance with financial regulations.

 

[Resources Committee – 25 July 2016]

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report by the Director of Finance and Contractual Services.

 

The Director of Finance and Contractual Services introduced the report.

 

The Chair moved the motion:

 

That the Authority –

 

(1)       Notes the 2015/16 treasury management outturn results against the 2015/16 Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS), as approved by the Authority on 26 March 2015 (FEP 2412);

 

(2)       Notes the breach of the TMSS, in relation to counterparty concentration limits for Lloyds Bank, which were exceeded over the period 28 March 2016 to 12 April 2016 and that no losses arose from this breach of the TMSS, with details of the sums involved and reasons for the breach are set out in Appendix 1, paragraphs 3 to 11 of the report FEP 2624; and

 

(3)       Approves the revisions to the 2016/17 Group Investment Syndicate (GIS) Investment Strategy, as set out in appendix 1, paragraphs 12 to 17 of the report FEP 2624 following the original approval by the Authority of the Strategy as part of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2016/17 on 17 March 2016 (FEP 2576A);

 

The motion was seconded by the Vice Chair, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

7.

Statement of Assurance 2015/16 - FEP 2655 pdf icon PDF 353 KB

Head of Strategy and Inclusion – presenting the Authority’s Statement of Assurance for 2015/16 in accordance with the Fire and Rescue National Framework for England.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report by the Head of Strategy and Inclusion.

 

The Head of Strategy and Inclusion introduced the report.

 

Members asked for the opportunity to comment on some aspects of the drafting of the Statement.

 

An amended motion was moved by the Chair:

 

That the Authority –

 

(1)       Notes the data requested in March 2016 as set out in the report FEP 2655;

 

(2)       Approves the Statement of Assurance 2015/16 in principle, subject to any further comments from Members on the draft text, with the Head of Strategy and Inclusion being given delegated authority to approve the final version of the Statement of Assurance, in consultation with the Chair and Leading Members.

 

The amended motion was seconded by the Vice Chair, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

8.

GLA Group Corporate Governance Framework Agreement - FEP 2656 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Clerk to the Authority – seeking approval to the updated GLA Group Corporate Governance Framework Agreement

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Clerk to the Authority.

 

The Clerk to the Authority introduced the report.

 

The Chair moved the motion:

 

That the Authority notes the report (FEP 2656) and approves LFEPA as a signatory to the Greater London Authority Group Framework Agreement, as set out in appendix 1 of the report FEP 2656, subject to its approval by the Mayor.

 

The motion was seconded by the Vice Chair, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

9.

Authority - Summary List of Actions Arising - FEP 2657 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

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

Minutes:

Report of the Clerk to the Authority.

 

The Chair moved that the report be noted.

 

The motion was seconded by the Vice Chair, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

10.

Questions from Members (in accordance with Standing Order 20) – 30 June 21016 – FEP 2658 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Questions from Members for the meeting on 29 September 2016, published in the order received in accordance with Standing Order 20, are set out below with supplementary questions and the Chair and Commissioner’s replies:

 

Questions received:

 

Question 465

From Andrew Dismore AM

 

Appliances off the run

On how many occasions during July and August this year were appliances off the run for (i) a full shift; and (ii) more than 4 hours due to a shortage of (a) junior officers and (b) other crew members?

Commissioner’s written response

 

The whole issue of resource management at fire stations on a daily basis is a complex matter and is influenced by a range of different pressures.  It is therefore not possible to attribute the appliance availability specifically to shortages of either junior officers or firefighters. In summary, the Brigade requires a minimum of 719 staff, with a wide variety of skills, each shift to ensure all appliances are on the run and available. 

 

In order to achieve this minimum requirement each shift has an establishment of 1,067 staff.  There is always establishment shortfalls due to vacancies and detachments; staff on annual leave, sick leave or light duties; as well as staff on training or parental/maternity related leave.  There are also other factors to consider in addition to the total number of staff, such as numbers of officers and particular skills sets because without the correct numbers of these, there is the potential for appliances to be unavailable regardless of total numbers of staff. 

 

The end result of all the above issues is that during July and August this year there were 92 occasions where appliances were not available for a full shift. This equates to 1% of the total availability. There were also 267 instances where an appliance was off the run for more than four hours. This equates to 3% of the total availability.  On these occasions available appliances were re-distributed to ensure that every fire station had emergency cover.

 

There are a number of on-going actions being taken to address and reduce these circumstances, for example:

            A watch manager process is underway which will ensure sufficient managers are in                 place to negate the need for crew managers to be sent on an out duty.

            Another firefighter recruitment campaign is on-going to address the vacancies at                 firefighter level.

            Promising discussions with the FBU are on-going in order to extend the direct                 standby process to all areas of the Brigade, which will maximise appliance                 availability.

            A working group with the FBU is also underway to look at alternative                 approaches to managing availability on watches and changes to the   redeployment of                 appliances which would also maximise appliance availability.

 

 

Question 466

Leonie Cooper AM

 

 

Brigade Control

 

 During my recent visit to Control, the Vision system went down. I understand that there have been a number of issues with the system since go-live in November 2015. Can you please:

(a)       Provide me with dates and times for when Vision has gone  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Urgent Business

Any other items the Chair considers urgent.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.