Agenda and minutes

Venue: Liverpool Suite. View directions

Contact: Shauna Healey, Democratic Services Manager  Email:

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.


The Authoirty 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)    no declarations of interest were made by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the Agenda;


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 therof because of the possbility of the disclosure of exempt information.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting held on 11th November 2021.


Resolved that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th November 2021 were agreed as an accurate record.


Asset Management Plans pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider Report CFO/001/22 which outlines how the Authority plans to align its physical asset base with its corporate goals and objectives over the next 5 years.

Additional documents:


Members considered a report of the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) setting out how the Authority planned to align its physical asset base with its corporate goals and objectives over the next 5 years (2022/23-2026/2/7).


The CFO highlighted the significance of the Estate Asset Management Plan and the Transport Plan in terms of the environmental impact of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (MFRA) both now and in the future. It was explained that a strategic policy document on the Authority’s environmental ambitions would be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee.


With regards to the vehicle fleet, it was explained that some areas would be easier to convert than others, with the auxiliary fleet as a good example of a simpler area when compared to fire appliances.


The Chair cited that the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority had a target of 2040 for zero carbon and Liverpool City Council were aiming for 2030. It was suggested that the Authority review decarbonisation of its buildings and fleet to identify opportunities to make it more eco-friendly. The Chair requested that the Authority adopt the year 2040 as a target for zero carbon with 2030 as a ‘stretch’ target if achievable. 


Members queried the use of Seed Data Mobilisation in the ICT Plan, noting that it was prohibited and obsolete but still in use on operation vehicles and by fire control. Ed Franklin, Head of Technology, clarified that the Seed app was no longer in use and that during the last few years mobilisation software in the cabs of fire appliances had been upgraded to use Airbus and an application called SE Response.


With regards to legacy support for systems using Windows XP, Ed Franklin explained that over the last 18 months MFRA had implemented CFMIS successfully which led to the cessation of historical payments for soft logic. The CFO added that the CFMIS project had been a significant piece of work that helped to knit together the aims of the service and present information in a centralised location that was more user-friendly than previous iterations.


Emily Spurrell, the Police and Crime Commissioner, asked for reassurance that the MFRA were sharing best practice with its partners such as Merseyside Police and the North West Ambulance Service. Part of that approach included identifying where the services could achieve efficiencies by combining assets. The CFO confirmed that MFRA were very focused on identifying collaboration opportunities to make efficiencies and to maximise the benefit to the public.


Resolved that the revised Asset Management Plans provided as appendices to this report be approved.



Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority Budget and Financial Plan 2022/23 – 2026/2027 pdf icon PDF 830 KB

To consider Report CFO/007/22 detailing the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority Budget and Financial Plan for 2022/3 to 2026/27.

Additional documents:


 Members considered a report of the Director of Finance and Procurement, which provided the Members with the medium term capital and revenue financial plan to allocate resources in line with the Authority’s strategic aims.


The Chair thanked the Finance department for preparing the budget proposal and for the significant amount of work undertaken as highlighted in the recent inspection, which noted the outstanding nature of the Authority’s financial controls.


Members queried the ratio of financing cost to the net revenue stream as it was proposed that this would rise to 10% in 2026/27. Ian Cummins explained that historically 10% of the budget had been allotted to service debt but in recent years this had reduced to 5% as the level of debt had declined due to the additional debt payments that had been made. In terms of the sustainability of the committing of 10% of the budget to service debt,  then based on the proposed MTFP the servicing of 10% debt would be affordable and sustainable. However, ultimately, the Authority is dependent upon Government funding support and the outcome of future Government settlements may require a review of all of the current budget commitments.


Members were advised that the inflation provision in 2026/27 was a result of the plan being structured as a five-year rolling, medium term financial plan. It was explained that this provision was expected to cover the pay award and inflation increase in 2026/27.


The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) commented on how the government were funding public services including the Fire Service and the Police and cited the lack of a three-year settlement as detrimental and responsible for pushing the burden onto the local taxpayer. It was proposed that a joint approach to lobbying from public services in Merseyside would help to illustrate the issue to central government.


Councillors asked for clarity on the £1.25million refurbishment of Bromborough Station, which was included in the capital programme noting that the Asset Management Plan suggested it may be replaced. The CFO explained that the IRMP 2021-24 considered a proposal to merge Heswall and Bromborough stations but the land for a new site had not been available. As a result, of the station remaining in use, it required an upgrade to meet the Authority’s accessibility standards and to provide female facilities in line with the Authority’s ambitions for equality.  The service was also cognisant of the Wirral Local Plan, which sought to add 5000 properties to the area, further necessitating an upgrade of Bromborough station.


The Chair presented the Labour Budget Resolution noting that the Authority had a proven record of accomplishment in terms of maintaining financial affairs and making tough decisions to balance the budget. The reductions to grant support and revenue funding from central government made in previous years were stated and the efforts in recent years by management to move funding to the front line were commended.


Furthermore, the government’s intention to address the ingrained challenges of regional equality through the Levelling Up agenda were welcomed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Arrangements for Appointing External Auditors pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To consider Report CFO/006/22 of the Director fo Finance and Procurement which outlines the arrangements for appointing external auditors.


The Director of Finance and Procurement presented the report which set out the proposals for appointing the external auditor to the Authority for the period from 2023/24 to 2027/28.


The report outlined the various options for appointing an external auditor and noted a deadline of the 11th March 2022 to opt into the Public Sector Audit Arrangements Limited (PSAA) sector-led national scheme


RESOLVED that the invitation from Public Sector Audit Arrangements Limited (PSAA) to opt into the sector- led national scheme for the appointment of external auditors for 2023/24-2027/28 be accepted.