London Fire Brigade

Agenda and minutes

Resources Committee
Thursday, 14 January 2016 10.30 am

Contact: John Johnson, Ground Floor, 169 Union Street, London, SE1 OLL; telephone: 30084; e-mail:  JOHN.JOHNSON@london-fire.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Dr Fiona Twycross AM for whom Councillor Pauline Morrison substituted.

2.

Disclosures of Interests and Dispensations

Clerk to 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.

 

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2015.

Minutes:

In relation to item 8 of the minutes of the previous meeting and in reply to questions from Members, the Director of Operations updated the Committee on the latest position with the introduction of the Co-Responding pilot.  Officers were due to meet with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the London Ambulance Service to finalise arrangements, and it was expected that protocols would be issued to staff shortly.  Officers were confident that the pilot would begin in early February.  Members asked that officers report to the next meeting of the Committee with an update.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 15, Mr Gordon Fielden made representations to the Committee on behalf of the FBU in respect of the Attendance Policy which had been discussed under item 9 of the minutes of the previous meeting.  Mr Fielden raised the issue of the current rules around secondary employment and pre-arranged overtime for staff returning from sickness absence, which the FBU believed were punitive and not in the spirit which Members intended.  Mr Fielden responded to questions from Members.  The Commissioner responded to the submission, setting out the Brigade’s position in terms of its need to safeguard the welfare of staff returning from sickness absence and stating that he hoped that agreement could be reached shortly.  Members confirmed that the Policy was not intended to be punitive and asked that officers report to the next meeting of the Committee with an update.

 

The motion was made by the Chair – That:

 

(1)          The minutes of the meeting of the Resources Committee held on 12 November 2015 be signed as a true record;

 

(2)          Officers report to the next meeting of the Committee in March 2016 with an update on the Co-Responding pilot; and

 

(3)          Officers report to the next meeting of the Committee in March 2016 with an update on the introduction of the Attendance Policy.

 

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

 

Resolved – Accordingly.

 

4.

Resources Committee - Summary List of Actions - FEP 2550 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Clerk to the Authority – reporting on actions arising from previous meetings of the Committee.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report by the Clerk to the Authority.

 

The motion was made by the Chair – That the ongoing and completed actions arising from previous meetings of the Committee, as set out in the report, be noted.

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

5.

2016/17 Budget Update - FEP 2551 pdf icon PDF 385 KB

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

 

[For Authority also]

 

Minutes:

Report by the Director of Finance and Contractual Services.

 

A motion from the Chair was tabled, which Members were given time to read.

 

The Director of Finance and Contractual Services introduced the report and drew Members’ attention to a £2.8m surplus in the financial position for 2016/17 relating to the Firefighter Pension Scheme, as set out in paragraph 19 of the report.  Proposals for how that surplus could be utilised in relation to both Option A and B of the current budget consultation was set out in paragraphs 29 to 34.

 

The Director of Finance and Contractual Services pointed out an error in the last sentence of paragraph 40 of the report, namely that the figure given as £529K should have read ‘£749K’.

 

The motion was made by the Chair – That:

 

(1)          That the report be noted;

 

(2)       The Committee also notes that  the provisional grant settlement, combined with the effect of the  withdrawal of the threat of strike action means that the overall savings target required for 2016/17 ( subject to confirmation of the final funding from the Mayor)  is now reduced by a total of £4.5 million compared to  the original target;

 

(3)       The Committee believes that operational changes are best introduced, so far as possible, as part of a comprehensive package consequent on the outcome of the full LSP 6 review to take effect in the year 2017/18, and therefore considers that any operational changes for 2016/17 should be kept to the absolute minimum required to produce a balanced budget;

 

(4)       The Committee therefore believes the reduced savings target should be primarily applied so as to reduce so far as possible the impact of operational cuts in 2016/17  and therefore agrees that  ‘Option A’ be further adjusted, so as to remove from the alternate crewing proposals the remaining 2 FRUs and 1 of the aerial appliances, (which subject to further officer advice, should be the one stationed at Dagenham on which Havering relies for first aerial attendance); and the balance of any reduced savings requirement be applied to reducing further the draw on reserves;

 

(5)       The Committee notes the suggestion that under ‘Option B’ the additional revenue available as a result of the reduced savings target should be applied, inter alia, to introducing a series of allowances and one–off payments, but believes this not to be the best application of these funds, as to do so is potentially storing up problems for the medium and long term and therefore rejects these proposals; and

 

(6)       The Committee notes that the overall effect of the reduced savings target, (subject to officer advice about the actual costs) if applied to ‘Option B’s permanent removal of 13 pumping appliances, would mean that instead of 13 appliances being removed only 4 would need to be cut instead; and therefore recommends that this be the preferred course of action for ‘option B’ in light of paragraph 2 above.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Whelton.

 

In response to questions from Members,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Outcome of the 2015 Firefighter Recruitment Campaign and Proposals for a 2016 Firefighter Recruitment Campaign - FEP 2552 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Head of Human Resource Management - reporting on the outcome of the 2015 firefighter recruitment round and recommending that a firefighter recruitment campaign is launched early in 2016.

Minutes:

Report by the Head of Human Resource Management.

 

The Head of Human Resource Management introduced the report. 

 

In response to questions from Members, the Head of Human Resource Management confirmed that a further recruitment campaign would be required later in 2016, and the timing would  take into account the final numbers recruited from the 2015 campaign.  Longer-term, officers were looking at various initiatives such as recruitment via the Fire Cadets and apprenticeship schemes in order to improve the application/success rate.  Officers were also going to fully review the London residency qualification (once data had been collated for two full campaigns) and review the timing and targets for campaigns.  It was clear that much more work needed to be done to attract potential women applicants and to ensure success rates for women in the work-related tests.  Officers would be arranging additional fitness clinics targeted at women which would be given prominence in advertising and social media.

 

The motion was made by the Chair – That

 

(1)          The information provided in the report on the outcome of the 2015 firefighter recruitment campaign be noted; and

 

(2)          A firefighter recruitment campaign is commenced early in 2016, with the launch date delegated to the Head of Human Resource Management in consultation with the Commissioner (paragraphs 29-33 of the report refer).

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

7.

Stress Survey Update - FEP 2553 pdf icon PDF 351 KB

Head of Development and Training – updating the Committee on progress on the stress action plan, stress workshops and the London Healthy Workplace Charter Award.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report by the Head of Development and Training.

 

The Head of Development and Training introduced the report and answered questions from Members.  He confirmed that 1,000 officers had attended a series of stress workshops during the period June to October 2015.  The latest Stress Survey had shown that the Brigade scored positively on all factors except the management of change and this was reflected in the views expressed at the workshops.  All activities in the high level action plan had been delivered or were progressing in line with expectation.  The report provided data on bullying - as requested by the Committee – which mainly related to performance management and outcomes.  The Equalities Working Group would be considering the subject of how the Brigade should deal with bullying and harassment issues at its meeting in February.   Officers were also hopeful to attain the London Healthy Workplace Charter by the end of March 2016, as detailed in the report.

 

The motion was made by the Chair – That the report be noted.

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

8.

Update on the Replacement Mobilising System - FEP 2554 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Director of Operations – providing an update on the current position with Vision, the Brigade’s replacement mobilising system, which went live on 17 November 2015.

 

 

Minutes:

Report by the Director of Operations.

 

The Director of Operations introduced the report and confirmed that, as of 5 January, the Brigade had dealt with over 20,000 calls on the new system, and that performance had been  very good, as shown in paragraph 6 of the report.  Some minor bedding-in issues were being dealt with – as had been expected – and an update report would be submitted to the Strategy Committee in March.

 

In response to questions from Members, The Director of Operations confirmed that officers were confident that attendance times would improve soon as a result of the new system and continue to improve throughout 2016 as further equipment updates were released.

 

The motion was made by the Chair – That the report be noted.

 

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

 

Resolved – accordingly.

 

 

9.

Urgent Business

Any other items which the Chair decides are urgent.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.