Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


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 of the Previous Meeting - Authority meeting pdf icon PDF 60 KB

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Authority, held on 27th October 2022, are submitted for approval as a correct record and for signature by the Chair.


Asset Management Plans pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider Report CFO/62/22 of the Chief Fire Officer, concerning the plans to align the Authorities physical assets and systems with its corporate aims and objectives over the next 5 years (2023/24 – 2027/28)

Additional documents:


Chief Fire Officer, Phil Garrigan presented the Asset Management Plan which sought to align the Authority’s physical assets and systems with its corporate aims and objectives over the next five years. With regards to the Authority’s estate, it was noted that there had been significant investment over the last ten years with the completion of seven fire stations, the JCC, refurbishment of Service Headquarters and other projects across the estate. Chief Fire Officer, Phil Garrigan advised Members the Authority’s aspirations were also featured in the report with acknowledgement of the refurbishment works due to take place in various stations as well as the creation of the new Training and Development Academy (TDA). Members were advised that the Authority was seeking to provide a more agile approach to working for its staff as detailed in the ICT section of the report. Councillor Makinson asked for clarification in relation to Bromborough Fire Station which was due to have £1.2million worth of refurbishment but was also highlighted for a potential merge with Heswall to a different site. The Chief Fire Officer explained that merging those stations had been considered in the previous Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) but Wirral Council’s plans for possible residential and commercial development in Bromborough has led to a pause in order to better understand the needs and risks in that area based on the Wirral local plan. With the potential merge superseded, the station will require refurbishment works to ensure it was fit for purpose. The refurbishment works planned for Aintree and Croxteth were also queried due to the imminent opening of the new TDA. It was explained that the new facility would be operational in 2024 and the work outlined for Croxteth and Aintree stations was minimal and reflective of the forthcoming changes. Cllr Hanratty also queried what happened to vehicles identified for disposal and if there was any remit to send them to other parts of the world. The Chief Fire Officer, Phil Garrigan noted that in the last 12 months, the Authority had released three fire engines to support Ukraine as part of the deployment of 70 vehicles delivered and coordinated by MFRS. The Authority had been approached by Ukraine for additional support due to the ongoing war and continued loss of firefighters, stations and engines and the Authority was continuing to provide support. It was explained that wherever possible, vehicles were redirected to parts of the world that could benefit from that provision with some smaller ancillary vehicles being redirected back into the fire service or scrapped dependent on their condition. Page 8 The Committee were advised that the Authority was considering how to use alternative fuels for its vehicle fleet were appropriate and that reducing its carbon footprint formed part of the Authority’s decision-making process. RESOLVED that the revised asset Management Plan Provided as Appendices to this report be approved.



To consider Report CFO/63/22 detailing the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority Budget and Financial Plan for 2023/24 – 2027/28

Additional documents:


The Chair of the Authority thanked the finance department for preparing the budget papers, noting it had been an ‘interesting few years’ for the Authority with a considerable amount of ‘turbulence’.


The Committee noted increased flexibility for the Fire Service to generate funding through a precept, but Members felt that generating this funding through taxation was unfair and instead it should have been made available by Government directly.


The Chair highlighted the pay settlement and rising utility bills as potential challenges to the budget and noted the Authority’s reluctance to reduce training or the establishment to meet these costs.


The staff were thanked for their continued hard work, going the extra mile and keeping Merseyside safe.


Members were advised that the Labour Group Budget Resolution sought to gradually increase the establishments and available fire appliances, maintain the workforce, and modernise equipment. It was noted that lobbying the government for increased financial support would continue.


Ian Cummins, Director Head of Finance and Procurement then presented the 2023/24 – 2027/28 Medium Term Financial Plan and proposed budget for 2023/24-2024. Members were advised that to maintain a balanced 2023/2024 Budget the Council Tax Precept would need to be increased by £5, the maximum allowed before holding a referendum.


The Chief Fire Officer noted how progressive the budget was as it sought to invest in front line services, protect the number of firefighters and appliances to ensure the public were protected to the best of the Authority’s ability. The proposed budget allowed the Authority to maintain current staffing and continue with its aspirations of a new TDA whilst allocating funding to manage risks from contaminants and alternative fuels, whilst supporting technological advancement.


The Chair of the Authority moved the proposed budget resolution. The resolution was seconded by Cllr Maloney. Members welcomed the budget Page 9 through a unanimous vote and placed on record their thanks to all staff at the Authority.




a)    the 2023/24 service budget set out in the report be noted;


b)    the lobbying of government undertaken by the authority to secure council tax flexibility and an inflation-reflective increase in grants for 2023/24 be noted;


c)    the Director of Finance and Procurement’s recommendation on maintaining the current level of general fund balance at £3.000m, and maintaining the reserves as outlined in Paragraph 150 to 158 of this report be endorsed;


d)    the current plan to increase the precept by £5.00 (6%) for 2023/2024, raising the Band D Council Tax from £83.61 to £88.61 and confirm the strategy for future precept rises (the plan assumes further increases of just under 3% in 2024/25 and then just under 2% in each year thereafter) be endorsed; the assumptions in developing a five-year financial plan outlined in the report and approve the 2023/2024 budget estimate of £67.921m be endorsed;


e)    the 2023/2024 – 2027/2028 updated Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) outlined in the report and summarised in Appendix C be approved


f)     the discretionary fees and charges uplift detailed in the report and summarised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.