Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Monday, 26th September, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: https://bit.ly/HarrogateYouTube (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Claire Wilson - Scrutiny Officer  Tel: 01423 500600 ext. 58323 Email:  claire.wilson@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

38.

Apologies for absence and notification of substitutes:

Minutes:

Notification had been received that Councillor Victoria Oldham was to act as a substitute for Councillor Robert Windass and Councillor Ann Myatt was to act as substitute for Councillor John Mann. Apologies had been received from Councillor Stuart Martin, MBE and Councillor Sam Green.

(5.34 pm)

39.

Declarations of interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made at the meeting.

 (5.35 pm)

40.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Of the meeting of 5 September 2022

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 5 September 2022 were approved as a correct record.

 

(Eight Members voted for the motion and there was one abstention)

 

(5.36 pm)

41.

Exempt information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt items.

Minutes:

There was no exempt information.

 (5.36 pm)

42.

Public arrangements- questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27.

Minutes:

There were no public questions under Standing Order 27. The Chair explained that members of the public could contact Democratic Services via the Harrogate Borough Council website and submit a question to be answered at a future meeting of the Commission.

(5.37 pm)

43.

Invitation to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner:

The Police, Fire and Crime and Commissioner for North Yorkshire to be in attendance.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire (PFCC) to the meeting, explaining that her attendance had been rescheduled from earlier in the year. The Chair also introduced the Interim Chief Executive for the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to the meeting. The PFCC invited questions from the Commission regarding Fire and Rescue matters first, followed by Police matters.

 

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

 

Councillor Victoria Oldham referenced the recent public consultation about potential changes to how the Fire and Rescue service would operate and deploy services. It was noted that the PFCC was elected by residents of North Yorkshire and queried whether the consultation exercise and any consequent decision represented the views of the local population. The PFCC confirmed that the decision on this matter would be made the day after the meeting (27 September 2022) and was underpinned by a drive to further improve public safety and confidence. 

 

Details were provided about the proposed changes which were based on a community risk profile, this sought to identify the level of risk in an area and ensure the right level of resource is in place. It was confirmed that this was based on an optimum delivery model for North Yorkshire, where the existing ‘on-call’ model could be updated and improved.

 

It was noted that funding for the Fire and Rescue Service was challenging and significant efforts were being made to achieve a balanced budget. Some areas where the PFCC had sought to boost funding were around precept flexibility and applications for grant funding.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Thomas Watson about incidents in the last year where a Fire and Rescue appliance had not been available to attend, it was noted that there was likely no occurrences, and it was agreed to confirm this outside of the meeting. It was noted that when a major incident was declared response times were slightly longer than usual as much of North Yorkshire was rural and this could impact on travel distances and response times. It was also confirmed that fire station areas had less or no overlap in North Yorkshire whereas this was more common in other counties, especially in urban areas. The PFCC confirmed that improving resource availability during peak times of demand was a priority, and one of the aims of the proposals within the consultation. Currently this involved a “dynamic cover model”, where appliances were moved around the district to ensure appropriate coverage at any given time.

 

Information was provided about recruitment of on-call fire fighters and required ‘turn in’ times, this meant that on call fire fighters had to live and/or work close to the stations that they were assigned. It was confirmed that legislation was in place to support a collaborative approach, whereby the nearest available appliance was deployed including ‘cross-border’ working with neighbouring forces. This was enabled by real-time drive time mapping technology. Members considered the challenges of the on-call model for some rural areas.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.