Agenda and minutes

Nottinghamshire & City of Nottingham Fire & Rescue Authority
Friday, 23rd February, 2024 10.30 am

Venue: Joint Fire / Police HQ, Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, Nottingham, NG5 8PP

Contact: Cath Ziane-Pryor  Governance Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Commissioner Caroline Henry

Councillor Tom Hollis



To note that Nottingham City Council membership has changed since the last full Fire Authority meeting:


a)  Councillor Gul Khan has been reappointed to replace Councillor Jay Hayes;


b)  Councillor Anwar Khan has been reappointed to replace Councillor Michael Edwards.


The Authority noted the following changes to the Nottingham City Council membership since the last full Fire Authority meeting:


(a) Councillor Gul Khan has been reappointed to replace Councillor Jay Hayes


(b) Councillor Anwar Khan has been reappointed to replace Councillor Michael Edwards.


Declarations of Interest




Minutes pdf icon PDF 361 KB

Of the meeting held on 15 December 2023, for confirmation.


The minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2023 were confirmed as a

true record and signed by the Chair.


Chair's Announcements


The Chair, Councillor Michael Payne, made the following announcements:


(a)  There will be a one minute silence in memory of former County Councillors Barry Cooper and John Hempshall, both of whom served the Fire Authority with distinction.


(b)  Round 3 of His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services is taking place in the coming weeks so inspection briefings are taking place regularly and a report is expected in August. The Chair thanked everyone for their hard work in response to the previous inspection report.


(c)  The Related Party Forms need to be completed and returned as soon as possible.


(d)  The Strategic Inclusion Board is taking place straight after the meeting, and all members are invited to attend if they are available.




Budget Proposals for 2024/2025 to 2027/2028 and Options for Council Tax 2024/2025 pdf icon PDF 610 KB

Joint report of the Treasurer and Chief Fire Officer

Additional documents:


The Chair introduced the item and thanked the Finance and Resources Committee for its work and recommendation on Council Tax.


Mark Kimberley, Interim Treasurer, and Tracy Stevenson, Temporary Head of Finance, presented the report and amendments which had been circulated as a supplement to the agenda. It presents the proposals for Revenue and Capital budgets for 2024/25 to 2027/28 to enable Members to determine the level of Council Tax for 2024/25, sets out fees and charges for 2024/25 for Members’ approval. It also seeks Members approval of the Independent Remuneration Panel’s recommendation regarding the inflator to be applied to Members Allowances from 1 April 2023, and to continue payment of Members Allowances for 2024/25 in accordance with the approved scheme, and highlighted the following points:


(a)  The budget is robust and meets all requirements. It is being balanced using a small amount of reserves, which is sustainable and, although there is a deficit in the budget over the next 4 years, there is confidence that it can be addressed appropriately.


(b)  The Finance and Resources Committee unanimously voted for the 2.95% Council Tax increase to be put forward to the Fire Authority for approval.


(c)  The 2024/25 Capital Programme totals £8.228m, which does not include slippage from 2023/24 which will be reported in the outturn report. If approved, the slippage from the 2023/24 programme will increase the 2024/25 programme accordingly.


(d)  The £3.117m Transport Capital Programme includes significant investment in the Service’s appliances and special appliances in line with the Renewal Programme. There has been a purposeful 2 year delay in the appliances programme to manage minimum revenue provision (MRP) which is the Service’s debt costs. This will be reviewed once the Futures 25 efficiency strategy is further developed and the impact on services is known.


(e)  The ICT programme has been developed in line with the Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) commitments. Alongside the ongoing replacement and updating of equipment and software, the programme includes plans to replace the Tri Service Control and Mobilising system, which is a joint procurement exercise with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service. The £1m (2025/26) budget for the replacement system is indicative only at this stage and may require revising once the procurement exercise is finalised.


(f)  The revenue budget requirement for 2023/24 to 2027/28 can be summarised as:



Revised Budget



Budget 2024/25





Budget 2026/27


Budget 2027/28




















Supplies & Services






Payments to other Local Authorities






Support Services






Capital Financing Costs



















(g)  The current economic climate remains uncertain with many external influences affecting it. Local Government has received a one-year funding settlement for 2024/25. With a general election due to be held in 2024 there remains significant uncertainty  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Prudential Code for Capital Finance 2024/2025 pdf icon PDF 417 KB

Joint report of the Treasurer to the Fire Authority and Chief Fire Officer



Mark Kimberley, Interim Treasurer, and Tracy Stevenson, Temporary Head of Finance, presented the report informing Members of the Authority’s obligations under the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance and seeking approval of the proposed capital plans, prudential limits and monitoring processes set out in the report, highlighting the following points:


(a)  The objectives of the Prudential Code are to ensure that:

·  capital plans and investment plans are affordable and proportionate;

·  all borrowing and other long-term liabilities are within prudent and sustainable levels;

·  risks associated with investment are proportionate to financial capacity;

·  treasury management decisions are in accordance with good professional practice.


(b)  Estimates of the Ratio of Financing Costs to Net Revenue Stream are:



2022/23 Actual £000s

2023/24 Estimate £000s

2024/25 Estimate £000s

2025/26 Estimate £000s

2026/27 Estimate £000s

2027/28 Estimate £000s

Total  Revenue Costs







Net Revenue Stream








Ratio of Financing Costs to Net Revenue Stream









(c)  The estimate of total Capital Expenditure and Capital Funding is:



2022/23 Actual £000s

2023/24 Estimate £000s

2024/25 Estimate £000s

2025/26 Estimate £000s

2026/27 Estimate £000s

2027/28 Estimate £000s

Capital Expenditure







Funded by:










Revenue / Reserves







MRP Re-investment







Capital Grant







Capital Receipts















(d)  MRP re-investment refers to the use of the minimum revenue provision which is used to reduce the borrowing need rather than for the repayment of debt due to the Authority’s loans being payable on maturity. Borrowing refers to the shortfall in funding after other funding sources have been applied. This borrowing may not necessarily take place externally. The Authority may judge it prudent to make use of the cash that it has already invested for long-term purposes. In doing this, the Authority does not reduce the magnitude of the funds it is holding for these long-term purposes but simply adopts an efficient and effective treasury management strategy. This practice, known as “internal borrowing”, is common in local authorities and means there is no immediate link between the need to borrow for capital spending and the level of external borrowing.


(e)  The Capital Financing Requirement is the amount required from external sources to fund capital expenditure and represents the Authority’s underlying need to borrow for capital purposes. It will therefore be the aggregate of all capital expenditure, less any revenue or reserve contributions, capital grants or capital receipts. The above table shows that the Capital Financing Requirement (CFR) steadily increases during the period from 2022/23 to 2027/28. The CFR increases when annual capital expenditure exceeds the funding available from capital receipts, government grants and revenue sources, and decreases when the funding exceeds the expenditure. The movement in the estimated CFR figures is mainly driven by the varying levels of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.


Treasury Management Strategy 2024/2025 pdf icon PDF 753 KB

Report of the Treasurer to the Fire Authority


Mark Kimberley, Interim Treasurer, and Tracy Stevenson, Temporary Head of Finance, presented the report seeking approval for the proposed Treasury Management Strategy for 2024/25 and the Authority’s Minimum Revenue Provision Policy for 2024/25, and highlighted the following points:


(a)  The Local Government Act 2003 requires the Authority to set out its treasury

  strategy for borrowing and to prepare an annual investment strategy which sets

  out the Authority’s policies for borrowing, for managing its investments and

  for giving priority to the security and liquidity of those investments.


(b)  The Authority is required to operate a balanced budget, which broadly means

  that cash raised during the year will meet cash expenditure. Part of the

  treasury management operation is to ensure that this cash flow is adequately

  planned, with cash being available when needed. Surplus monies are

  invested in low risk counterparties or instruments commensurate with the

  Authority’s low risk appetite, ensuring adequate security and liquidity before

  considering investment return.


(c)  The second main function of the treasury management operation is the

  funding of the Authority’s capital plans. These capital plans provide a guide to

  the borrowing need of the Authority, essentially the longer-term cash flow

  planning, to ensure that the Authority can meet its capital spending

  obligations. The management of longer-term cash may involve arranging long

  or short-term loans or using longer-term cash flow surpluses.


(d)  The strategy covers:

·  prudential and treasury indicators;

·  the borrowing requirement;

·  prospects for interest rates;

·  the borrowing strategy;

·  policy on borrowing in advance of need;

·  debt rescheduling;

·  the investment strategy;

·  creditworthiness policy;

·  policy on use of external service providers;

·  the Minimum Revenue Provision policy;

·  training of Officers and Members.


(e)  It is a statutory requirement under Section 32 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for the Authority to produce a balanced budget. A local authority must calculate its budget requirement for each financial year to include the revenue costs that flow from capital financing decisions. This includes a statutory requirement to make a prudent provision for an annual contribution from its revenue budget towards the reduction in its overall borrowing requirement. This charge is known as the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP). This means that increases in capital expenditure must be limited to a level whereby increases in the following charges to revenue remain affordable within the projected income of the Authority for the foreseeable future:

·  increases in interest charges caused by increased borrowing to finance additional capital expenditure;

·  any increases in running costs from new capital projects, and any increases in the Minimum Revenue Provision.


(f)  The Authority uses a main current account, an investment account and a petty cash account. All of these accounts are held with Barclays Bank PLC and are managed online. This system allows the Authority to make transfers to and from accounts in real time and thus allows the current account balance to be maintained at a minimum level. All surplus funds are held either in the investment account for short periods or are lent to institutional borrowers over longer periods.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services - Areas For Improvement Closure Report pdf icon PDF 323 KB

Report of the Chief Fire Officer


Leila Berry, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, presented the report updating Members on the progress of the four areas for improvement identified in His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) 2021/22 report for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, and highlighted the following points:


(a)  HMICFRS is the inspectorate body for fire service inspections in England. Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) was inspected during September 2021. On 27 July 2022, HMICFRS published its findings from the NFRS inspection. NFRS’s inspection report identified four ‘areas for improvement’ (AFI) for the Service. The AFI relating to understanding of well-being provision by staff was closed by the Policy and Strategy Committee at its meeting on 2 February 2024, and the purpose of today’s meeting is to close the remaining three open AFIs.


(b)  The three AFIs are as follows:

(i)  The Service should assure itself that its risk-based inspection programme (RBIP) prioritises the highest risks and included proportionate activity to reduce risk.

(ii)  The Service should ensure that when responding to a 999 call, mobile data terminals (MDT) are reliable to allow staff to access risk information.

(iii)  The Service should make sure it effectively monitors, reviews, and evaluates the benefits and outcomes of any collaboration activity.


(c)  The RBIP is used by the Service’s Fire Protection Department to ensure that fire safety inspections undertaken as part of the Service’s statutory duties under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order are targeted at the highest risk non-residential buildings.


(d)  Work has been ongoing throughout 2023 to rectify issues with technology and data systems which support the generation of the RBIP. This work has now been successfully completed and the improved RBIP has been in use by the Protection Team throughout Quarter 4 of 2023/24.


(e)  The Service is assured that the RBIP technology is now supporting the allocation of inspection resources to those premises of higher risk, and that internal monitoring and assurance processes are embedded into business as usual to monitor this going forward.


(f)  MDT are the technological solution which enables operational crews to access a variety of risk information during operational incidents. A primary MDT is available on all fire appliances, hosting risk information including mapping, operational guidance documents, premise information and plans and hydrant location data.


(g)  For additional resilience, the Service has implemented a ‘back-up’ secondary MDT for the Officer-in-Charge (OiC), or other crew members to access, as required. This takes the form of a handheld tablet which has the benefit of being demountable from the cab and can be carried on the incident ground.


(h)  Since the time of the previous inspection, both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Services have upgraded the primary MDTs in appliances as part of hardware and software upgrades from the mobilising system provider Systel.


(i)  The Service has been working closely with Systel to ensure that software issues associated with the original rollout of the MDT operating system have been resolved. The MDTs are now operating on Version 15  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.


Futures 25 Update pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Report of the Chief Fire Officer


Leila Berry, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, presented the report providing an update to Members on the Futures 25 efficiency and improvement programme including planned activity for the financial year 2024/25, and highlighted the following points:


(a)  Futures 25 is the Service’s efficiency and improvement programme, and also aims to deliver service improvement workstreams including those relating to culture and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) associated with the updated People Strategy.


(b)  Phase 1 of the Futures 25 programme commenced in May 2022 and

  encompassed activities designed to present a range of options for

  consideration by the Strategic Leadership Team and the Authority to   set a balanced budget for the financial year 2023/24.


(c)  The broad aims of Phase 2 of the Futures 25 programme are to deliver service improvement in the context of a challenging financial operating environment. The programme continues to identify opportunities for both pay and non-pay efficiencies, as well as supporting increased productivity through investment in systems and process improvements. The workstreams which form part of Phase 2 have been grouped under four key areas:

·  Governance Review

·  Revenue Budget Management

·  Service Redesign

·  Culture, EDI and Leadership.


(d)  Governance workstreams are designed to support the efficiency and effectiveness of meeting structures and decision making within the Service. Efficiencies achieved through a reduction in the number of strategic leadership posts means that money can be reinvested into functional delivery roles elsewhere in the organisation, enhancing skills and delivery capacity where it is most needed.


(e)  The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the Local Government Association (LGA) have proposed that across fire and rescue services in England, the sector create 2% of non-pay efficiencies and to increase productivity by 3% in the spending review period 2021/22 – 2024/25.


(f)  Non-cashable savings continue to be identified. Investment in system and process improvement as part of Service redesign workstreams aims to continue to support benefits realisation in these areas.


(g)  The Service redesign workstreams form the most significant portion of the improvement programme. The overarching aim is to ensure that the Service has appropriate resources deployed in the correct place to support its ambition to be an outstanding fire and rescue service.


(h)  Work is continuing to improve the Community Fire Risk Management Information System database, which supports prevention and protection activities. Improvements, including the introduction of the NFCC Online Home Fire Safety Check Tool (Safelincs), supports members of the public to reduce risks in their home, and at the same time improves the efficiency of referrals for those at higher risk of fire to receive specialist safe and well services.


(i)  Work scheduled for the financial year 2024/25 includes a review of the business processes and mobile devices used by crews to complete safe and well checks with improvements aimed at enhancing the efficiency and quality of this high-volume process.


(j)  A review of the prevention function is underway, with an updated structure due to be implemented in the financial year 2024/25. The structure has been co-designed with the workforce  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.


Sector Reform Update pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Report of the Chief Fire Officer


Damien West, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, presented the report updating Members on the Government consultation response to the ‘Reforming Our Fire and Rescue Service’, and highlighted the following points:


(a)  In response to findings from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and learning from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, in May 2022, the Government launched a White Paper consulting on reform to fire and rescue services (FRSs). The consultation ran from 18 May to 26 July 2022 and outlined three areas of people, professionalism and governance. The consultation received 290 responses in total.


(b)  The Government’s response has also been influenced by more recent investigations into culture and leadership in FRSs, including the London Fire Brigade Independent Culture Review, the Spotlight review and subsequent inspections by HMICFRS.


(c)  Several pieces of work have been ongoing in the area of ‘people’ prior to the publication of Government’s response. New legislation was introduced to enable FRSs to undertake enhanced disclosure and barring checks, new leadership programmes have been launched, and April 2023 saw the launch of the Direct Entry Scheme pilot for Station Managers. The Government’s response provides little additional information beyond monitoring these pieces of work and ensuring they are embedded consistently across FRSs.


(d)  The response confirms the Government’s position that they believe the role of FRSs is clear in relation to firefighting, community safety, and national resilience / civil contingencies. It also restates the Government’s commitment to FRSs collaborating with other partner agencies, particularly in health and policing.


(e)  The Government states they will support employers to work with representative bodies to review the National Joint Council and pay negotiation mechanisms through an inclusive processwhich the Home Office aim to be completed by early 2024.


(f)  The Government response also states that if the review does not result in meaningful change, the Home Office will explore other routes to ensure a modern, fair pay system that constructively enables role reform in England. In particular, the Government would like to see consideration of scope for variation and self-determination including by types of services and by location.


(g)  There are brief mentions of issues in relation to improving workforce diversity and addressing the recruitment and retention of on-call firefighters, with the Government committing to continuing to work with partners on these issues.


(h)  The White Paper proposed establishing a separate, independent, professional body which would build on the existing work of both the NFCC and the Fire Standards Board in setting and maintaining professional standards for FRSs. This proposal took the form of a College of Fire and Rescue (CoFR) and suggested that this new body could mirror the existing College of Policing.


(i)  The NFCC has been working with the Home Office to develop these proposals since the consultation was launched. The White Paper response confirms Government’s commitment to establish a CoFR and states that they will work with partners to develop the most appropriate delivery model. The Government also states that data  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.


Committee Outcomes pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Chief Fire Officer

Additional documents:


The revised report circulated with the supplement to the agenda detailing the business and actions of the Fire Authority committee meetings which took place in October/November 2023 and January/February 2024 was considered.


Resolved to note the report.


Exclusion of the Public

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


Resolved to exclude the public from the meeting during consideration

of the remaining items in accordance with Section 100A of the Local

Government Act 1972, under Schedule 12A, Part 1, Paragraph 3, on the

basis that, having regard to all the circumstances, the public interest in

maintaining an exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the



Replacement Mobilisation System Station End Equipment, On-Call Paging Solution and Officer Alerting App Contracts Award

Report of the Chief Fire Officer


Michael Sharman, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, presented the report detailing the proposals for the replacement mobilisation system end equipment, on-call paging solution, and Officer alerting app contracts award.


Resolved to approve the recommendations as detailed in the report.