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Confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 December 2022

    ITEM 4


Councillors: T Ainsworth, G Potter, N Gourlay, R Iliffe, J Woolley, D Taylor, S Bull, S Swann, R Ashton, L Ramsey, J Innes, N Peatfield, K Gillott 

Officers in Attendance: 

  • J Beresford Director of Corporate Services 
  • S Allsop Director of Finance/Treasurer  
  • G Tomlinson Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive 
  • L Slade Committee Clerk 

Prior to commencement of formal proceedings, the Chair wished to say a few words: 

“Today marks the last Fire and Rescue Authority meeting for the Director of Corporate Services, Judi Beresford and Joint Director of Finance, Simon Allsop. 

Judi will be leaving Derbyshire to start a new role with Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service as Assistant Chief Fire Officer.  Judi’s last day of service with Derbyshire will be 11 December, although due to annual leave, her last day in the office is today. 

Judi has worked for Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service for over 16 years having moved from Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service to take up the role of Area Manager and was appointed to the role of Director of Corporate Services in 2020. 

Throughout her time with DFRS Judi has been integral in developing the Service and the people who work around her.  She has played key roles in many areas, including ensuring we have positive Industrial Relations, preparing us for HMICFRS inspections and developing several CRMP’s.  As an outcome of much of the work Judi has led on throughout her time with us, we are now in a much better place to meet our future challenges.  

On behalf of myself and the Fire Authority, Judi we wish you all the best for the future in Leicestershire. 

Simon Allsop will also be leaving his current role of Joint Director of Finance for Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service on 2 December. 

Simon has worked for DFRS for over 10 years and has led on collaboration arrangements for police and fire for more than four years, including working with the Joint Head of Strategic Assets to establish a joint property team as part of a range of collaboration activities that have saved more than £0.4m since 2019.  This has included seven co-located stations and twenty-two joint contracts worth over £200m. Prior to that he worked with the fire and rescue service and police service for more than 10 years in various roles as an auditor, advisor and then an employee. 

Thanks to his guidance, the Service is in a strong position to face our future challenges and the Service continues to benefit from the investments we have made. The advice, guidance and challenge from Simon has helped support the work of the Fire Authority and we want to thank him for that, wish him well and all the best for his future” 


47.1 No public questions have been received. 


48.1 Cllrs Williams, Burfoot and Skelton 


49.1 None. 


50.1 Members confirmed the minutes as a correct record. 

Recorded votes: Unanimous 

Cllr Ainsworth proposed, Cllr Ashton seconded 


51.1 Members confirmed the minutes as a correct record. 

Recorded votes: Unanimous 

Cllr Potter proposed, Cllr Gillott seconded 


52.1 The Treasurer presented Members with the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2022/23 (as at September 2022), to outline progress on the IRMP ‘Our Plan’ target savings and to report on the forecast level of Reserves. 

52.2 Members noted the Revenue Budget Monitoring and Forecast Outturn for 2022/23 being an overspend of £172,635.  A contribution of £322,665 from the Local Funding Risk Reserve was required to balance the original Revenue Budget 2022/23, which brings the budget shortfall to around £0.5m. 

52.3 The Treasurer informed Members of a new one-off Services Grant of £619,277 announced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities was used in part to cover new pressures arising through the 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy, aimed at easing pressure on the NHS.  At the time this represented a new burden of £306,200 for DFRS in the current financial year, with the balance of the Services Grant being taken to a newly established Earmarked Reserve. 

52.4 With regards inflation, in September 2022 inflation as measured through the CPI stood at 10.1% prompting the Bank of England to increase interest rates to 3%.  This was the 8th consecutive increase and pushed the rate to the highest level for 14 years.  It is anticipated that inflation will begin to fall over the coming 12 months, however this sharp spike has already introduced permanent pressures on Revenue and Capital budgets and on our level of Reserves. 

52.5 Members noted a Forecast Closing Balance of £11.9m reflects the favourable 2021/22 Outturn position and that of previous years.  A detailed analysis of Earmarked Reserves was noted in Appendix 3 of the report.   

52.6 Due to the budget situation, a Labour Member asked how vacancy control is  impacting on the Service.  The Chief Fire Officer responded that it is affecting long term planning and having money in reserves isn’t always helpful.  Fire and rescue services will be required to ensure planning involves allocating reserves. 


52.7 Members note the Revenue Budget Monitoring and Forecast Outturn for 2022/23 being an overspend of £172,635.  A contribution of £322,665 from the Local Funding Risk Reserve was required to balance the original Revenue Budget 2022/23, which brings the budget shortfall to around £0.5m. 

52.8 Members approved the establishment of the Services Grant Reserve and approve all proposed transfers to and from Reserves as illustrated in Appendix 3 of the report.  Members also noted the projected 2022/23 Closing Balance of £11.9m and considered the impact of economic volatility and future budget deficits on the level of Reserves held by DFRS. 

52.9 Members approved budget virements which provide for the discontinuation of the Health and Social Care Levy. 

Recorded votes: Unanimous 

Cllr Ainsworth proposed, Cllr Taylor seconded 


53.1 The Treasurer presented the 2022/23 Capital Budget Monitoring (as at September 2022) and Prudential Indicator update. 

53.2 Members noted that expenditure of only £0.219m has been incurred to 30 September 2022 representing less than 5% of the total budget of £3.9624m.  The Capital Programme continues to be affected by the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, resulting in shortages in the supply of materials and extended lead times from suppliers in addition to rising inflation increasing material and labour costs. 

53.3 The scheme to build a new Fire Station at Matlock is progressing with tenders expected back early in the New Year.  Dependent upon the tenders being within budget and a satisfactory review, commencement will take place in 2023/24. 

53.4 With regards the Transport Programme, the Treasurer highlighted that purchase orders have been placed with suppliers for the remaining officer cars and replacement light fleet vehicles, however the replacement welfare vehicles scheme requires slipping into the 2023/24 capital programme due to the significant lead time for the delivery of the vehicles. 

53.5 The Fire Authority is required to receive regular updates on the current position of the Fire Authority’s investments and any strategy updates that may have occurred.  As at 30 September 2022, the Fire Authority had five investments totalling £12.3m.  All investments are made in accordance with the Fire Authority’s Investment Strategy which was approved as part of the Treasury Management Strategy by the Fire Authority on 11 February 2022. 


53.6 Members accepted the Capital Budget Monitoring and approved the revised 2022/23 Capital Programme totalling £3.962m as illustrated in Appendix 1 of the report. 

53.7 Members noted the Treasury Management update as at 30 September 2022. 

Recorded votes: Unanimous 

Cllr Ainsworth proposed, Cllr Bull seconded 

54/22 MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY 2023/24 – 2026/27 

54.1 Members were presented with the proposed Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2023/24 – 2026/27 which supports the forthcoming budget reports to be presented to Members as part of the 2023/24 budget setting process.   

54.2 The Treasurer confirmed that lobbying is taking place for flexibility to be granted for precept increases.  Modelling will take place to show what an increase in the precept would look like and various scenarios will be included within the budget paper. 

54.3 A Labour Member stated that the one year funding settlement is not helpful to future planning.  It was requested that a detailed understanding of what is on the horizon is given at the next Members Development Day. 


54.4 Members approved the Medium Term Financial Strategy at Appendix 1 of the report. 

Recorded votes: Unanimous 

Cllr Ainsworth proposed, Cllr Potter seconded 


55.1 The Director of Corporate Services presented a report to seek approval on the draft ‘Our Plan’ 2023-2026 and the proposed approach for consultation. 

55.2 Members noted that the Service has completed an in-depth Service Delivery and Risk Review which has collected historical data over a three-year period to inform the production of a Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP).  The CRMP will continue to be named ‘Our Plan’. 

55.3 Our Plan 2023-2026 has been developed fulfilling the statutory obligations as well as setting the strategic direction of the Service for managing the risks in Derbyshire.   

55.4 The report recommends to consult for a period of between six and ten weeks from early December 2022 until late January/February 2023.  This is believed to be an adequate period of time for consultation due to the low-level impact of Our Plan and associated objectives/actions.  If, during the year, options for projects have greater potential impact then further public and/or employee consultation will be recommended to the Fire Authority in accordance with our External Consultation Service Procedure. 

55.5 A Labour Member stated that they believed further information should be recorded under what we will do in relation to the Public Sector Equality Duty objective 3.  The Director of Corporate Financial Services confirmed that lots of work is taking place in relation to positive action and work within communities.  The workforce profile is also improving. 

55.6 The Chair wished to thank all the employees who have been involved in producing Our Plan and those who have inputted from planning days.   

55.7 A Labour Member asked if an additional question could be added to the consultation around how public opinion on whether there is the right level of representation across the Service.  This will be taken into consideration by the team. 


55.8 Members approved the content of Our Plan 2023-2026 as at Appendix 1 of the report. 

55.9 Members approved the consultation plan and consultation survey questions as at Appendix 2 of the report. 

Recorded votes: Unanimous 

Cllr Ainsworth proposed, Cllr Potter seconded 


56.1 The Chief Fire Officer starting by sending thoughts to Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, who dealt with a particularly distressing incident which resulted in the death of a mother and two children.  Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Joint Fire Control took the calls and welfare support is in place. 

56.2 Members noted that agreement has been reached on rates of pay for “Green Book” employees and changes will be seen in the November payroll.  No agreement has been reached in relation to “Grey Book” pay for operational staff so a ballot on strike action will be open from Monday 5 December 2022 to Monday 30 January 2023. 

56.3 Further information in relation to planning for industrial action can be found at Item 11 of the agenda. 

56.4 Members noted a report commissioned by London Fire Brigade looking into its culture and behaviours.  The Chief Fire Officer confirmed that the Strategic Leadership Team will be completing a review of the report, a gap analysis and will be seeking the views of others in staff networks on what DFRS is already doing, or can do differently, to make sure the right things are being done to promote a positive workplace culture. 

56.5 In relation to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), the Chief Fire Officer stated that letters of comfort have been sent to fire and rescue services from the Home Office to confirm £26m funding will be available to support the work required by the BSR.  A recruitment contract has been awarded to Reed, who will now work with fire and rescue services to fill the required posts. 

56.6 Volume 2 of the Manchester Arena Inquiry has been released which focussed on the emergency response.  The Service will be reviewing the document and the recommendations made. 

56.7 The Chief Fire Officer was pleased to announce that Derbyshire has been nominated in the following 6 categories for the 8th Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards: 

  • Emergency Service of the Year 
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Fire and Rescue Service 
  • Unsung Hero Award 
  • Most Influential Woman in Fire 
  • Young People’s Supporter of the Year 
  • Emergency Services Collaboration of the Year 

The ceremony is taking place in London on 9 December 2022. 

56.8 A national recommendation to make changes to the pay structure is currently sat with the Government for review.  Members confirmed their support to lobby the Government for these changes. 


57.1 Members noted the contents of the report.