Agenda and minutes

Venue: Members Room - Headquarters. View directions

No. Item


Community Risk Management - Rapid Review Presentation

To consider a presentation by the Area Manager for Community Risk Management, concerning the following:


“Scrutiny Review of the building planning process and involvement of MFRA in planning decisions; and the regulation of HMO’s”.




Members considered a detailed presentation, concerning a scrutiny review of the building planning process and involvement of MFRA in planning decisions; and the regulation of HMO’s.


The Area Manager for Community Risk Management – Guy Keen, provided Members with an introduction and a brief overview of his Directorate, which consists of 3 main Departments: Protection; Prevention; and Community Safety.


Members were advised that the presentation will aim to answer the specific questions that have been raised, however Members were invited to ask any further questions that they may have, throughout the presentation.


Group Manager Chris Head informed Members that the presentation would provide an overview of the relevant legislation; and the duties that officers discharge on behalf of the Authority. It was stressed to Members that MFRA Officers can only act against the legislation that applies to us as a FRA; and they were informed that this can sometimes be frustrating when our powers are so limited within particular areas.


Members were informed that with regards to some of the questions that were submitted around our involvement in planning applications, they are likely to be quite shocked as to how limited that can be; and that the presentation will also demonstrate how other pieces of legislation can impact on us as a FRS, when we enter a building.


They were also advised that FRS’s work on a number of assumptions when entering certain premises, such as high rise buildings; and if everything works as it should, there shouldn’t be any issues. However, when things have not been done properly, this can create significant problems, as was the case with the Grenfell Tower tragedy.


Members were informed that the aim of the Community Risk Management Directorate, is to provide excellent Prevention and Protection by “Working with our partners and our communities to protect the most vulnerable, through targeted local risk reduction interventions and the robust application of our legal powers”. They were advised that the Fire Safety Regulations are applied by the Protection Department; and that where firefighters aim to make premises safe when they attend incidents and are going in when things have gone wrong, the Protection Department are trying to protect premises and prevent things going wrong in the first place.


Members were informed that a large proportion of the Protection Department have been operational staff previously, which enables them to comprehend what is likely to happen; and what firefighters are likely to face, if something does go wrong within a premises. They were informed that with regards to HMO’s and other such premises where there are shared communal areas, as these areas are not owned by one particular person, there is a tendency for them to not be maintained as well as people’s individual space, which can therefore increase the risk within them. For example, doors within HMO’s are fire doors and are quite different to those within other premises or individual homes. Where these are damaged, or not fit properly, it can create issues, particularly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.