1. Purpose of Report
1.1 To formally present Members with the overall findings of the consultation on the draft ‘Our Plan 2023-2026’ document and the annual budget consultation.
2.1 That Members note the contents of the report.
3. Information and Analysis
3.1 The public consultation on both documents ran concurrently for 6 weeks ending on 13 January 2023. All documents were available on the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) website. The consultation was publicised extensively through:
- social media (a total of over 66,000 followings through the various channels)
- posters at all libraries and community rooms on fire stations
- emailed to over 340 stakeholders
- weekly communications with staff.
3.2 During the consultation period 674 unique users viewed the consultation web page. 131 responses were received to the Our Plan consultation and 51 for the budget consultation. This means that overall, we can be 95% confident that the real value of responses is +/-9% of the surveyed value for Our Plan results and +/-14% for the budget.
3.3 Our Plan results:
- The overwhelming majority of respondents (92%, 121 people) said they ‘value DFRS as a local service provider / as a partner organisation’.
- 96% of respondents (124 people) agreed with the ‘what we will do’ activities that sit under each of our Service priorities.
- 87% of respondents (114 people) agreed that we should continue to support partners agencies with incidents beyond those we have a legal duty to attend.
- 97% of respondents (127 people) said they understand the risks our data has identified and activities to address these.
- 87% of respondents (114 people) think we are doing enough to be representative of our communities, 17 people disagreed (13%), these people reflected a range of protected characteristic groups. The explanations for why people disagreed were varied, the themes including lack of representation of ethnic groups and women included at senior levels, and ideas for how to increase representation.
- 30 people left comments on ‘Our Plan’, 10 of these were positive and included the following phrases: “well thought out”, “easy to read”, “effective outline”, “comprehensive”, and “best CRMP yet”. 10 people had ideas for changes, these will be considered further by the project group.
3.4 Budget results:
- Most respondents (80%, 41 people) think DFRS provides ‘good value for money’.
- Just over half of respondents (55%, 28 people) think we have the right balance of investment across prevention, protection and response, 24% disagree and 22% do not know.
- Over two thirds (71%, 36 people) of respondents would support an increase to the Council Tax Precept, to maintain services at the current level, 20% (10 people) disagree. With 28 people responding to the survey as Derbyshire residents we can be 95% confident that the real value is +/- 19% of the surveyed value. In summary we can be 95% confident that between 52% and 90% of Derbyshire residents aged 18+ would support an increase to the Council Tax Precept to maintain our services at the current level.
- 12 people provided comments on the budget consultation, these were wide ranging, and no themes emerged.
- The number of consultation responses is extremely low (0.012% of a population of just over 1 million) and therefore the results can only be used to indicate the direction the Service should take, the information on statistical validity provides a guide to the confidence we can have that the results represent views of the wider population.
- Taking into consideration the ‘business as usual’ content of Our Plan, the Service has made proportionate efforts to consult. The responses are broadly reflective of the wider community (see the Profile of Respondents attached) except for the business community which is not well represented in the findings (one response).
- All comments have been presented weekly to a group including the project lead and they have not identified any issues of particular concern. Where comments have been raised that need addressing, this has been done by the project group and is captured in the action notes from those meetings.
4. Further Considerations
This report has been consulted upon and approved by the following officers:
Strategic Leadership Team – 20.1.23
Contact Officer: Davinder Johal Contact No: 01773 305493
The consultation reports on Our Plan 2023-26 and Our Budget