London Fire Brigade

Agenda and minutes

London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority
Thursday, 22 June 2017 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Peter Goss, Ground Floor, 169 Union Street, London, SE1 OLL; telephone: 020 8555 1200 ext 30084; e-mail:  peter.goss@london-fire.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

The Chair asked everyone present to stand in silence for one minute in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and the recent attacks in London.

Grenfell tower fire

At the invitation of the Chair, the Commissioner made a short statement updating the Authority on the fire at Grenfell Tower. She expressed her sympathy for the victims of the fire and paid tribute to the bravery and professionalism of the firefighters.

 

The Chair then made a statement and extended the thoughts of the Authority to the community, victims, and the bereaved and with those who had lost their homes.  She paid tribute to the leadership of the Commissioner and her senior team and how the Authority could be proud of all the firefighters and LFB staff involved.  The Chair drew attention to the legal advice received by Members guarding against raising issues that might prejudge any outcome of the investigation, inquest or inquiry.  However, she felt it would be useful for the Authority to establish a working group to consider issues that could be fed into the Mayor’s forthcoming  London Plan consultation.

 

Gareth Bacon AM spoke and also paid tribute to the work of the firefighters, the leadership of the Commissioner and her team.

 

The Chair invited Paul Embery, FBU, to say a few words. He acknowledged what had been said and spoke of the impact the incident had had on the firefighters involved.  He also stated he was glad that the work of the Control Room staff had been acknowledged. 

 

Resolved -  that the Authority place on record its thanks to the Commissioner and all the firefighters and LFB staff involved in the incident, the actions of whom had saved lives.  The Authority also recorded its thanks to the other brigades who supported the rescues and recovery, notably Kent and Surrey, and to neighbouring brigades whose mutual aid agreements supported LFB in tackling the fire.   

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mehboob Khan and Councillor Emma Dent Coad MP.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Minutes of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority meeting held on 20 April 2017.

Minutes:

The motion was made by the Chair – that the minutes of the Authority meeting held on 20 April 2017 be signed as a correct record.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Martin Whelton, put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

The minutes were thereupon signed by the Chair.

3.

Minutes of Appointments and Urgency Committee pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2017.

Minutes:

The motion was made by the Chair – that the minutes of the Appointments and Urgency Committee meeting held on 30 March 2017 be signed as a correct record.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Martin Whelton put and agreed.

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

The minutes were thereupon signed by the Chair.

4.

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

Minutes:

The Chair congratulated Cllr Emma Dent Coad on her election as MP for the constituency of Kensington and stated that, as a consequence, Cllr Dent Coad had, today, resigned from LFEPA.  The Chair undertook to write on behalf of the Authority to Emma Dent Coad MP in respect of the challenges she was immediately facing, as MP for the area, in dealing with the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.

 

The Chair congratulated Cllr Susan Hall on her appointment as a Member of the London Assembly.

 

The Chair announced that at a meeting of the Authority’s Appointments and Urgency Committee on 14 June 2017, Dany Cotton had been appointed permanently to the post of Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade.

 

The Chair also congratulated Watch Manager Michael Nicholas on being awarded a MBE for services to the fire and rescue services and the BME community in London and Malcolm Stanton (Acting Head of Protective Equipment Group) on being awarded a MBE for services to the safety of firefighters and the protection of the public.

 

The Chair reported, that on Monday 17 April, the Brigade were called by the police to an incident where chemicals that had been thrown at people within a nightclub in Warburton  Road, Hackney. Two fire engines, a hazardous materials specialist officer and the Rapid Response Team, who specialise in CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) incidents, were immediately mobilised, along with four other specialist appliances.  On arrival, it was clear that a number of casualties were on the floor being treated by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) using burns packs. Crews were informed by the police that there had been a deliberate release of an unknown chemical within the night club located at basement level. As well as assisting LAS crews in administering first aid, the Rapid Response Team were deployed and used Detection, Identification and Monitoring equipment to ensure that there were no further elevated readings of chemical substances. A total of 12 people were injured at this incident and over 600 evacuated.

 

The Chair reported that, on Saturday 6 May, the Brigade received multiple calls to smoke issuing from the roof of a building in Long Acre, Covent Garden. Initially, two fire engines and a turntable ladder were mobilised. The fire was located in the roof cavity above the fourth floor. Access was particularly challenging due to the roof construction. A total of twelve fire engines plus specialist vehicles were used to deal with this incident. The shops below the fire were evacuated and the police were needed to deal with the crowds of people in the vicinity. Crews were at the scene for a total of 8 hours. No persons were injured at the incident.

 

The Chair reported that, on Sunday 21 May, whilst travelling to Uckfield, East Sussex, the Commissioner came across a road traffic collision that had taken place around 20 seconds beforehand. A car had pulled out into the path of a motorcyclist.  The Commissioner was first on the scene; she  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

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.

Authority - Summary List of Actions

Clerk to the  Authority   there are no outstanding actions arising from previous meetings of the Authority.

Minutes:

It was noted that there were no outstanding actions arising from previous meetings of the Authority.

7.

Mayor Budget Guidance - FEP 2733 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Director of  Finance and Contractual Services -  This report  summarises the key points for LFEPA from the Mayor’s Budget Guidance 2018/19, and sets out the processes and timetable for the Authority in order to deliver a balanced budget for 2018/19. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report by the Director of Finance and Contractual Services, which had been circulated under cover of Supplementary Agenda No.1.

 

Andrew Dismore AM suggested that, if as a result of recent events, it was found that additional resources were needed for the Fire Brigade, there should be the opportunity for the Authority to submit a funding request to the Mayor.

 

The Chair moved that the report be noted.

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

8.

Response to Consultation on the Ultra Low Emission Zone - FEP 2734 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Head of Technical and Service Support – Requesting that the Authority decide on the final response to the new proposals for the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

 

Minutes:

Report by Director of Finance and Contractual Services, which had been circulated under cover of Supplementary Agenda No.2.

 

Discussion took place over two opposing views from Members, one supporting the proposal to introduce the ULEZ early in central London on 8 April 2019 and the other making a case for a twelve month dispensation for the London Fire Brigade (LFB) fleet in order to reduce the cost to the Fire Brigade of modifying its non-compliant vehicles. 

 

Gareth Bacon AM proposed a motion which sought to request a one year dispensation for LFB non-compliant vehicles.  The motion was seconded by Tony Arbour AM, put and, upon a vote being taken, was declared lost (by 5 votes for and 9 against) .

 

The Chair then moved the motion – That the Authority:

 

Notes the report and authorises officers to draft a response to the consultation saying that it supports ULEZ but will work with Transport for London to identify precisely how it will comply with the earlier implementation and a full update, including the financial implications for the Authority, will be provided at a later date.

 

The motion was seconded by the Vice Chair, put and, upon a vote being taken, agreed (by 9 votes for and none against).

 

Resolved – accordingly.

9.

LFB Enterprises Ltd (LFBe) - FEP 2735 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Director of Finance and Contractual Services – Recommending the Authority receive the direction from the Mayor  revoking an earlier direction relating to London Fire Brigade Enterprises Limited (LFBe), the Authority’s trading company.  This report also recommends the Authority to approve amendments to LFBe’s articles of association to allow the appointment of a chair with commercial experience.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report by Director of Finance and Contractual Services.

 

The Chair moved the motion – That the Authority:

 

(a)          Receives Mayoral direction (MD2130) (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) revoking the direction given under MD1517, so as to enable LFBe and the Authority to consider ethical trading issues within Mayoral policy;

 

(b)          Notes that the LFBe business plan will be submitted to September’s Authority meeting;

 

(c)          Approves the amendment of LFBe’s Articles of Association to enable a non-executive director, who is not an employee of the Authority, to chair the LFBe board; and

 

(d)          Notes the progress in appointing such a chair and approves the extension of the indemnity and insurance arrangements, currently offered to existing directors, to such director and any directors subsequently appointed.

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

10.

Appointment of Independent Person - Extension - FEP 2736 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Head of Legal and Democratic Service -  Recommending that the appointment of the Authority’s two Independent Persons be further extended.

Minutes:

Report by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

 

The Chair moved that the Authority:

 

Agrees to extend the appointment of Suzanne McCarthy and Anthony Moss, as the Authority’s Independent Persons under Section 28(7) of the Localism Act 2011, until 31 March 2018.

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

11.

LFEPA Local Pension Board - FEP 2737 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Clerk to the Authority - Reporting on arrangements for chairing of the LFEPA Local Pension Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report by the Clerk to the Authority.

 

The Chair moved that the Authority:

 

Suspends paragraph 2.4 of the terms of reference for the LFEPA Local Pension Board and agree that the employer’s side continue to chair the Board until the expected abolition of LFEPA in 2018.

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

12.

Draft Programme of Authority and Committee Meetings October 2017 - March 2018 - FEP 2738 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Clerk to the Authority – Proposing a draft timetable of Authority and Committee Meeting dates for the period October 2017 – March 2018.

Minutes:

Report by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

 

The Chair moved that the Authority:

 

Agrees the draft programme of Authority and Committee meetings for the period October 2017 until end of March 2018 (as set out in Appendix 1 of the report).

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

13.

Questions from Members (in accordance with Standing Order 20) – 22 June 2017 – FEP 2739 pdf icon PDF 174 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 22 June 2017, published in the order received in accordance with standing Order 20, are set out below with supplementary questions and the Chair’s/Commissioner’s replies:

 

Questions received:

 

Question 478

From Andrew Dismore AM

What discussions have senior officers had with TfL, RMT and TSSA, over safety and below minimum  staffing levels at TfL tube stations, given LFB’s enforcement  responsibilities  under the 2005 and 2009 Regulations?

 

Commissioner’s written response

Article 10(2) of The Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) (England) Regulations 2009 states:

‘The periods of duty of members of staff must be so arranged as to secure that not less than two of them are present on duty in the premises at all times when members of the public have access to the premises’.

An exemption can be given on this Article where a fire and rescue authority is satisfied in respect of any particular station premises that compliance is inappropriate, unnecessary or not reasonably practicable.

LFB officers are in regular communication with TfL with regard to fire safety matters.  Officers have not had discussions with TfL about staffing below minimum staffing levels and consequently officers of the LFB have not discussed this with staff side representatives such as RMT or TSSA direct.

Andrew Dismore AM :  Thank you for the answer.  I’ve met the unions myself actually and I think it would be helpful if officers at the relevant level and job description would meet the unions to discuss one or two of the concerns they have.

 

Commissioner:  Agreed.

 

Question 479

From Unmesh Desai AM

In light of the Westminster and London Bridge attacks, what lessons can we learn about collaborating with the Police and Ambulance Service?

 

Commissioner’s written response:  LFB has worked inclusively with colleagues in MPS (firearms and counter terrorism command ) and LAS for many years, jointly planning and training  to ensure a co-ordinated multi-agency response to terrorist attacks.  Some of this collaboration has been unique, and is considered best practice across the UK and overseas.

For every incident such as the Westminster and London Bridge attacks, emergency services undertake internal as well as multi agency debriefs to consider operational, tactical and strategic command and actions. The debriefs for the Westminster incident were completed prior to the London Bridge attack on 3rd June. Immediate learning from Westminster was considered, and some operational procedures had already been amended  prior to the London Bridge attack to improve multi agency co-ordination and response. 

The multi-agency response on 3rd June to London Bridge and Borough Market saw a dynamic, cohesive and effective response by London’s emergency services. Years of joint planning and training paid dividends, as well rehearsed mobilisation and response protocols were implemented without any undue delay. The response to RVPs and Forward Command Points (FCP) close to the attack scene ensured that emergency response was co-ordinated, rapid and undoubtedly saved many lives.

As with the Westminster incident, further internal and multi-agency debriefs will be undertaken for the London Bridge incident. Again,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Urgent Business

Any other items the Chair considers urgent.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.