Agenda and minutes

Nottinghamshire & City of Nottingham Fire & Rescue Authority - Policy & Strategy
Friday, 8th July, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Fire and Rescue Services HQ, Bestwood Lodge, Arnold Nottingham NG5 8PD

Contact: James Welbourn  Email: james.welbourn@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

None.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

Minutes:

None.

3.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting dated 29 April 2016.

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Barnfather asked the Chair for an update on future governance of the Fire Authority. It was agreed this would be provided to members after the close of the meeting.

 

The minutes of the meeting dated 29 April 2016 were agreed and signed by the Chair.

4.

PAY POLICY pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Chief Fire Officer

Minutes:

John Buckley, Chief Fire Officer at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) presented a Pay Policy statement for approval by the Fire Authority, as well as an opportunity to review the terms of the service’s Discretionary Compensation Payment Policy.

 

The following points were raised and discussed by Members:

 

(a)  discretionary payments are in place for members who are eligible for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).  This does not affect whole-time firefighters;

 

(b)  there is a mixed picture with what services do with discretionary payments.  NFRS use actual pay, which is capped at 66 weeks with the opportunity through special circumstances to increase this cap to 104 weeks.  However, these ‘special circumstances’ are used extremely rarely;

 

(c)  the Discretionary Payments Compensation Board sits and provides advice to the Fire Authority Human Resources Committee, who then in turn report to the Fire Authority;

 

(d)  policy is now in place at NFRS that will follow the expected statute.  Compensation payments are capped at £95,000, although there are other statutory payments that must be made.  NFRS have raised the question of what pieces of substantive legislation could legitimately allow the £95,000 cap to be exceeded, and are waiting for a response;

 

(e)  Conservative Councillors observed that the Discretionary Payments Scheme seemed to be different to other local authorities, and that NFRS was being more generous to its employees than other places of work.  Also, new employees are covered by this scheme.  Finally, there are three different sets of pension regulations available, so non-uniformed staff should not necessarily be treated differently.

 

The Chair responded by saying that there have been a lot of changes in a short period of time at NFRS, including the loss of some of the workforce.  This passage has been smoothed by looking after staff, and where they have had to be released, it has been done sequentially.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

(1)  endorse the Statement of Pay Policy at Appendix B of the agenda pack and agree for it to be presented to the full Fire Authority for approval;

 

(2)  endorse the revised Discretionary Compensation Payments Scheme Policy at Appendix C of the agenda pack;

 

(3)  approve the adoption of Repayment of Exit Payments Policy at Appendix D of the agenda pack.

 

Councillors Barnfather and Wheeler asked that it be noted that they voted against the second recommendation.

5.

EMERGENCY SERVICES NETWORK (ESN) PROJECT UPDATE pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Report of the Chief Fire Officer

Minutes:

Gavin Harris, Head of ICT at NFRS provided the Committee with an update on progress with the Emergency Services Network (ESN) programme and the inter-related developments for the achievement of Public Sector Network (PSN) accreditation for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

 

The following points were highlighted:

 

(a)  a large number of security processes need to be implemented so that NFRS can align to the code of connection policy set by the Public Sector Network (PSN).  This will lead to additional staff being needed in the short-term;

 

(b)  the programme is using funding set aside as an earmarked reserve, built into the budget back in 2014/15.  Staff will be working through a large number of vulnerabilities that have been flagged, with quite a tight deadline;

 

(c)  if more, or less support is needed on the programme the Finance and Resources Committee will be consulted;

 

(d)  one issue with cost at the moment concerns confusion over what elements of the PSN programme are ‘in scope’ and what will fall outside of scope.  £20 million has been allocated from the Home Office for Fire Services nationally but this is not likely to be sufficient given the emerging costs.

 

RESOLVED to note the contents of this report and agree to receive further updates as the programme progresses.

6.

TRI-SERVICE CONTROL UPDATE pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Report of the Chief Fire Officer

Minutes:

John Buckley, Chief Fire Officer at NFRS updated Members on the progress of the Tri-service Control System.

 

The following points were highlighted:

 

(a)  the system has moved to ‘roadmap 4’.  Subtle improvements in the control room have been made, such as foot pedals for staff;

 

(b)  the Chief Fire Officer has been to meetings with the Yorkshire services involved with the system – there is a lot of development that is a priority for all services involved;

 

(c)  commercial pressure is still being applied and maintenance costs are not being paid.  Close work with the Yorkshire services makes certain that progress won’t be destabilised;

 

(d)  the property tour attended by Members was useful to see the Control Room first hand, and was also an opportunity to talk to staff;

 

(e)  the contract with Systel was procured under Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) regulations.  With the result of the EU referendum being a leave vote, Members asked if there is a need to revisit the terms of the contract.  The Chief Fire Officer agreed to look into the issue and bring it back to the Committee if relevant.

 

RESOLVED to note the content of the report and the progress made with the Tri-Service Control Programme.

7.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

To consider excluding the public from the meeting during consideration of the remaining items in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the basis that, having regard to all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED to exclude the public from the meeting during consideration of the remaining items in accordance with section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the basis that, having regard to all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

8.

EXEMPT MINUTE

To approve the exempt minute from the meeting dated 29 April 2016.

Minutes:

The Committee confirmed the exempt minute of the meeting held on 29 April 2016 as a true record and it was signed by the Chair.