Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Shauna Healey, Democratic Services Manager  Email: DemocraticServices@MerseyFire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Preliminary Matters

The Authority is requested to consider the identification of:

 

a)  declarations of interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the Agenda

 

b)  any additional items of business which the Chair has determined should be considered as matters of urgency; and

 

c)  items of business which may require the exclusion of the press and public during consideration thereof because of the possibility of the disclosure of exempt information.

 

Minutes:

The Authority considered the identification of any declarations of interest, matters of urgency or items that would require the exclusion of the press and public due to the disclosure of exempt information.

 

Resolved that:

 

a)  declarations of from Councillor Wood in respect of item 7 specifically in regard to the Growth Platform

 

b)  no additional items of business were determined by the Chair to be considered as matters of urgency; and

 

c)  no items of business required the exclusion of the press and public during consideration thereof because of the possibility of the disclosure of exempt information.

 

1a

Appointment of Chair

Minutes:

Councillor Les Byrom was nominated to be Chair of the Authority by Councillor James Roberts, seconded by Councillor Jan Grace. The Chair thanked the Members for providing him with the privilege to Chair the Authority for another year.

 

The Chair thanked the Members who had retired from the Authority for their contribution to the Authority and for acting as Ambassadors for the Fire Authority in Merseyside. The Chair welcomed Councillors Tracy Dickinson, Anna Rothery and Dave Hanratty and Harry Gorman to the Authority as new Members for 2022/23.

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Les Byrom be appointed at the Chair of the Authority for 2022-23. 

 

1b

Appointment of Vice-Chair

Minutes:

Councillors James Roberts and Brian Kenny  were nominated at Vice-Chairs of the Authority as seconded by Councillors Linda Maloney and Jan Grace.

 

RESOLVED that Councillors Roberts and Kenny be appointed as Vice-Chairs of the Authority for 2022-23.

 

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 163 KB

To consider the minutes of the previous meeting of the Authority, held on 24th February 2022.

Minutes:

 

Members were advised that the Minutes from the Urgency Committee would be considered at the next Meeting of the Authority, as the meeting took place after the agenda was published.

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the previous meeting of the Authority, held on 24th February 2022, were approved as an accurate record.

 

3.

Membership of the Authority 22/23 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider report CFO/021/22 which details the membership of the Authority.

Minutes:

The Members considered a report relating to the membership of the Authority for 2022/23.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

a)            the contents of the report be noted;

 

b)             the membership of the Authority further to the appointments by the five district councils be noted;

 

c)            the appointment of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Merseyside to the Authority be continued; and

 

the Monitoring Officer be instructed to review the role of Independent Person and Co-Opted Member in order to present a report that considers best practice from other authorities in the next 12 months.

4.

Structure of the Authority pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To consider report CFO/022/022 which provides Members with details of the Structure of the Authority.

Minutes:

Ria Groves, Monitoring Officer presented the report, which considered the structure of the Authority. It was explained that all Members had been provided with the matrix for Committees prior to the meeting.

 

It was explained that there had been no changes to the actual committees other than adding a Member to the Audit Committee for a total of 6. 

 

Members were made aware of a typographical error on page 28 of the report and it was explained that the correct proportionality should read Labour 72.21%, Liberal Democrat 11.11% and Conservative, Green and Liverpool Community Independent Group 5.56%

 

RESOLVED that:

 

a)    Members determine the Committees it wished to establish;

b)    the number of voting Members to be appointed to each Committee be determined;

 

c)    the number of seats on each Committee to be allocated to each political group in accordance with the political balance regulations be determined;

 

d)    the alternate Members from the relevant political group to attend a Committee in the absence of the substantive Member be determined;

 

e)    the Members who are to be appointed to Committees and roles attracting a Special Responsibility Allowance be determined, in accordance with the wishes of the relevant political group in respect of those seats allocated to that group;

 

f)     the Members who are to be appointed to Lead Member roles be confirmed;

 

g)    Members inform Democratic Services prior to the start of any meeting if an alternative is attending on their behalf; and

 

h)    The proposed structure to reflect the recommended changes to the number of seats on Audit Committee be approved.

 

5.

Meeting Dates for 22/23 and 23/24 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider report CFO/024/022 which outlines the proposed meeting dates for 22/23 and 23/24.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were advised that the Scrutiny meeting in May had been brought forward to April to avoid any clashes with local elections. It was requested that the date for the next Strategy Day be moved from the 14th July to an alternative date that week to avoid a clash with a bi-election at Wirral Council.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

a)            the schedule of meeting dates and events for 2022/23 (attached as Appendix A) be considered and  an alternative date for the Strategy Day in July be approved; and

 

b)            the draft provisional dates for 2023/24 (attached as Appendix B) be considered and noted.

 

6.

Questions on Discharge of Functions pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider report CFO/025/022 which seeks to appoint Members to be responsible for answering questions on discharge of functions.

Minutes:

Members considered the report which requested that a Member of Nominations for districts agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the five Members (one from each constituent District Council) be nominated as the Member responsible for answering questions within their Council on the discharge of the functions of the Authority.

 

7.

Appointment of Membership to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider report CFO/033/022 which details appointments to outside bodies.

Minutes:

It was noted that at the previous Annual General Meeting, it was agreed to continue with LGA Membership unless otherwise stated and as that had not happened, the Authority was still affiliated with the LGA.

 

The Chair noted that there was new legislation this year that would be a challenge for the Authority as well as the recent government white paper and therefore it was crucial that Members maintain a knowledge base and lobbying on key issues.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

a)            current affiliations to outside bodies be noted;

 

b)            the continued affiliation with each of the organisations specified in the report be approved; and

 

c)            the appointments of Members to each of the outside organisations as the Authority’s representatives be approved.

 

8.

Approved Conference and Outside Meetings pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider report CFO/026/022 which related to approved conferences and outside meetings.

Minutes:

Members considered the report relating to attendance at conferences and outside meetings.

 

RESOLVED that attendance at conferences and outside meetings by representatives of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority as determined by the Chair be approved.

 

9.

Meetings with National Politicians at Party Political Conferences pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider report CFO/034/022 relating to meetings with national politicians at Party Political Conferences.

Minutes:

Members noted that this report was a standing item at the Annual General Meeting and related to the Authority’s power to lobby the government at party political conferences.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

a)    appropriate representatives of the political group of the Authority to attend meetings with Ministers, Opposition Spokespersons and other relevant national politicians, to be held at the locations of their own party political conferences, to discuss issues relating to the business of the Authority be approved;

 

b)    appropriate travel and subsistence expenses for such meetings be approved, but no payment of conference fees be made; and

 

c)    issues raised, responses and progress made be reported back to the Authority.

 

10.

Members Allowance Payments 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider Report CFO/027/022 which relates to Member allowance payments for 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the report which provided a backward view of the previous years allowance payments for 2021/22.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained within the report and at Appendix 1 be noted.

 

11.

Scheme of Members Allowance 22/23 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To consider Report CFO/028/022 which details the scheme of Members allowance for 2022/23.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the report, which presented the scheme of Member’s allowance for 2022/23.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

a)    continuation with the current Member’s allowance scheme be approved;

 

b)    any inflationary increase to the Authority’s Scheme of Member’ Allowance is normally aligned to the previous year’s Firefighters pay be noted;

 

c)    a pay increase to the Scheme of Members allowances in line with the Firefighters Pay Award for 2022/23 which would apply to 2023/24 allowances be approved; and

 

d)    the combined roles of Co-opted Members and Independent Member be approved and:

 

a)    the appointment to both the Audit Committee and Scrutiny Committee, as a non-voting member (subject to approval of structure);

ii) any complaints against Members, alleged to have breached the Member’s Code of Conduct and relevant officers under the Relevant Officers Disciplinary Procedure on the Independent Panel as the ‘’Independent Person’’ be continued; and

iii) to be paid for conducting such roles following submission and verification of invoices, at a daily attendance rate of £50 (as and when required)as is the current case.

 

12.

MFRA Constitution pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To consider report CFO/023/022  which relates to the Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ria Groves, Monitoring Officer, explained that there were no significant changes within the constitution for 2022/23 and that the latest version sought to amend some typographical errors and note the change to structure for the Audit Committee. 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

a)    the draft amended Constitution for 2022/23 be approved;

 

b)    the Acting Monitoring Officer to the Authority be instructed to keep the Constitution under review; and

 

c)    in the event of any relevant changes in legislation, a further report be brought to the Authority.

 

13.

Construction of a New Multi-Pump Superstation, Training and Development Academy /National Resilience Centre of Excellence at Long Lane Aintree pdf icon PDF 189 KB

To consider report CFO/031/022 which realtes to the construction of a new training and development academy at Long Lane/Aintree.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chie Fire Officer, Phil Garrigan presented the report which sought final approval  for the construction of a new multi-pump superstation and training and development academy and centre of excellence at Long Lane Aintree.

 

It was explained that there had been a cost to date of £0.5million and the purchase of the land would cost £3-4million with income from the Home Office and a capital grant contributing to the build. The total commitment for the project would be £36,098million (check this).

 

Members were advised that the proposal to merge the stations and build a superstation had been approved by the authority as part of the Integrated Risk Management Plan for 2021-24.  The proposal had been approved at a Planning Committee of Liverpool City Council on the 3rd May 2022 followed by a very supportive consultation process in October 2021. The CFO explained that this project would see a reinvestment into front line services that was a valuable cornerstone of the Authority.

 

The benefits of the proposal were discussed including an improvement to the number of engines available and quicker response times across both locations with an improvement of 49 seconds in Aintree alone. The development would improve inclusivity and accessibility for staff and the community and the superstation would be significantly greener in terms of the carbon efficiency.

 

The improvement to training facilities were emphasised with a focus on training against realistic scenarios as a result of the recommendations from the Grenfell incident.

 

In summation, the development would significantly enhance fire fighter safety whilst making crews more effective, resilient and quicker to respond to incidents.

 

Councillor Maloney queried if the proposal could create an income for the Authority if other FRS came to Merseyside to train. It was explained that rather than generate income, there was the potential to offset some of the costs which could then be reinvested back into MFRS.

 

Councillor Hanratty queried what contingency was in place to safeguard the Authority against unforeseen financial issues. It was also requested that the Authority receive regular reports on the progress of the project from a Lead Officer using a traffic light system to identify any imminent risks. Councillor Hanratty asked if there was an indication of how much income from oversees partners could be achieved and if the capital receipts of the buildings being sold could be ringfenced for this project. With regards to budget, it was asked whether the ICT budget was sufficient considering the facility that was being proposed.  Finally, Councillor Hanratty queried if other emergency services were collaborating with the Authority on this project to encourage cross working and a unified approach to response.

 

The Chief Fire Officer explained that there was a clause relating to inflation that capped costs with the building constructor. After discussion with the constructors, greater price security and protection against rising costs had been secured. Contingency arrangements were also in place for any additional costs such as remediation works if there are any issues with the land once construction begins.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Award of Contract to procure a new fleet of van for use by National Resilience pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider Report CFO/030/022 which seeks to award a contract to procure a new fleet of vans for use by National Resilience.

Minutes:

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Nick Searle, presented a request to award a contract to procure a new fleet of national resilience vans as part of the Authority’s role as lead for national resilience.

 

It was explained that this formed part of supporting a refresh of national resilience assets over the next few years.

 

Councillor Gorman asked if the Authority had considered purchasing electric vehicles as part of this procurement. It was explained that this procurement formed part of the national transport asset management plan which included consideration of environmentally friendly technology as led by the Home Office.

 

RESOLVED that the award of a contract to Northern Commercials Limited acting on behalf of Iveco Limited, for the supply of a fleet of 18 vans for the purposes of National Resilience’s Detection, Identification and Monitoring capability be approved.

 

15.

Purchase of a 45m Bronto Combined Platform Ladder (CPL) pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To consider report CFO/032/022 which relates to the purchase of a 45m Bronto Combined Platform Ladder.

Minutes:

Members were requested to consider the purchase of a 45-meter Bronto Combined Platform Ladder (CPL) as proposed in the Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan.

 

It was explained that the CPL was available in the next four –five months at a discounted cost as it was a demonstration model. The ladder would allow access to high-rise buildings, could act as a water tower and would broaden the service’s capabilities.

 

Councillor Hanratty queried how the equipment would be stored and future proofed. The Chief Fire Officer explained that the CPL would fit on the current 34-meter CPL chassis so it could be stored easily and would be able to operate in narrow streets. A test-run at Liverpool City Centre had been undertaken and when building new stations, this kind of equipment would be taken into consideration.

 

RESOLVED that the purchase of the immediately available demonstration 45-metre Bronto CPL be approved.

 

16.

Multi - Function Device Contract Renewal 2022 pdf icon PDF 197 KB

To consider report CFO/029/022 relating to multi-functional device contract renewal.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chief Fire Officer, Phil Garrigan presented the report, which sought to award a contract for multi-function devices for the next five years. Members’ attention was drawn to the savings made in this area over the last 12 months

 

 

RESOLVED that the award of the Authority’s Multi-Function Device Contract be approved.