The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.
Relevant updates on any outstanding actions were provided and the Action Log updated.
There was a discussion about the expansion of home safety and security checks which SM is keen to fund. It was agreed that following advice from Paul Golley SH and PF would meet to agree how the different target groups are identified and what the specific key messages should be for each.
ACTION – SH & PF to meet. Agree common ground and put forward a final proposal for SM to review.
Presentation of strategies/investment plans
RP provided an update on a number of IT systems which are outdated and in need of replacement.
Accepting that some software is specific to the Fire Service, it was agreed that good practice should consider any opportunities for joint procurement between police and fire where practicable.
There was a discussion about the National Procurement Model funded by the Home Office. Were the Fire Service to be included it could provide an opportunity to solve some of the current licencing issues and support a move into the cloud.
SM confirmed that he is keen to accelerate the replacement of Fire Watch (the current software that manages the duty system).
PF confirmed Heather Cowley who leads on IT for the OPFCC is supporting the development of the IT strategy for NFRS.
SM approved the interim 5 year investment strategy presented.
It was agreed that a longer term strategy should be completed and ready for sign off by the end of November.
HK is completing work on funding that may be available from grants and S106 money.
RP gave an overview of the proposed 5 year strategy for Fleet.
SM approved in principal the strategy relating to appliances.
Specifically the purchase of 13 appliances over 3 years. Five in Year 1, Five in Year 2 and three in Year 3 but was open to commit to the larger purchase over that time if the cost would be reduced as a result.
SM approved year 1 spend for the purchase of two new water rescue vehicles, purchase of officer lease vehicles (already completed) and progression of purchase of 5 Type B appliances.
There was a discussion about procurement and ways to negotiate better deals when ordering new appliances, particularly in bulk.
It was agreed that where possible new fleet should be adaptable to new technologies
SM requested a longer term strategy for fleet and asked for this to be returned by the end of November, along with a finalised and comprehensive fleet review.
Project management costs to be removed as these should not be capitalised.
ACTION – RP to ensure delivery of comprehensive fleet strategy by end of November.
SM confirmed that he was broadly supportive of the Equipment strategy as presented.
There was a discussion about how manufacturers ‘end of life’ classification is determined. SM keen to ensure that we don’t always purchase the cheapest option. (Might pay 10% more but may last 20% longer).
It was agreed that HK would work through the Equipment budget to agree what are revenue and what are capital costs.
SM agreed the proposed investment plan presented to him, with a requirement for a longer term strategy by end of November.
ACTION – HK to confirm revenue and capital costs in the Equipment budget.
There was a discussion about fire stations that are within close proximity to each other and the best way to utilise these to provide resilience.
SM advised that Paul Bullen will now lead on the Estates strategy and has been tasked with proving a long term strategy by the end of the year.
SM requested that longer term Force estates strategy delivered by end of November.
ACTION – Longer term IT, Fleet, Estates and Equipment Strategy to be presented by the end of November latest
Financial Monitoring Report
HK updated on the financial position at the end of June
At this early stage in the year, a £288k underspend has been highlighted, as a result of the additional local business rates and associated grants.
The report also highlights potential future pressures, challenges or opportunities to be considered in the year
There was a discussion about potential underspends within fire departments and the need to keep pushing the message that any underspend will be reinvested in the service. Holding back money will ultimately prevent the service from recruiting, buying or replacing.
SH updated on work that he is doing to remodel bank payments and overtime. This will be discussed with the FBU when he meet them later this week to discuss
SM asked for a short paper on recruitment. This should include plans to replace firefighters who are forecast to retire.
ACTION – SH to provide recruitment paper for consideration and approval.