Agenda and minutes

Greater Manchester Corporate Issues & Reform Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2021/22 - Tuesday, 17th September, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: GMCA - GMCA Boardroom. View directions

Contact: Jamie Lee Fallon  Email: jamie.fallon@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk

Link: click here to watch live stream of meeting

Items
No. Item

21.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Chris Goodwin (Oldham), John McGahan (Stockport), and Richard Paver (GMCA Treasurer).

 

Kallum Nolan left the meeting at 7.15pm.

 

22.

CHAIRS ANNOUNCEMENTS AND URGENT BUSINESS

(if any) at the discretion of the chair

Minutes:

The Chair reminded Members that a number of their annual GMCA Register of Interest Form’s were still outstanding.

 

Members were advised that moving forwards the GMCA would be publishing its meeting papers via Modern.gov, enabling a paperless and more modern approach. The Chair reminded Members to provide the device information requested as soon as possible so that they can be issued with a username and password.

 

It was noted that up to six Members of the Committee attended a budget training on 13 August 2019, which was hosted by Richard Paver, GMCA Treasurer. The session focussed on helping Members better scrutinise the budget setting process and was well received. The Committee considered whether they could benefit from a further training session in advance of the budget setting process, in particularly for those who were unable to attend. It was agreed that Officers would seek to identify a further date to be held prior to a future committee meeting (in October or November at 5-6pm)

 

The Chair informed the Committee that the Scrutiny Chairs had recently met with the Mayor to consider how the scrutiny committees could make a meaningful impact. As a result, it was recommended that the committees should, as appropriate, make recommendations formerly to the GMCA and request feedback. It was also agreed that the committees should consider developing a small number of focussed scrutiny working groups,  to address cross cutting themes such as bus reform. It was noted that as the groups were developed, they would be communicated to Members.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.      That Members provide the device information requested to support the roll out of modern.gov.

 

2.      That Officers consult with Members and officers on developing a further budget training session (in October or November, 5-6pm). 

 

 

23.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST pdf icon PDF 361 KB

To receive declarations of interest in any item for discussion at the meeting. A blank form for declaring interests has been circulated with the agenda; please ensure that this is returned to the Governance & Scrutiny Officer at the start of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations received.

24.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 16 JULY 2019 pdf icon PDF 441 KB

To consider the approval of the minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2019, as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2019 were submitted for approval. A Member requested a correction to item CI/18/19 Programme for Change Outline Business Case, with reference to changing a ‘two-pump incident’ to state ‘two-five-pump incident’. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2019 be approved as a correct record subject to the correction to item CI/18/18 Programme for Change Outline Business Case.

 

25.

UNIFIED PUBLIC SERVICES FOR THE PEOPLE OF GREATER MANCHESTER pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Report of Mayor Andy Burnham, Portfolio Holder for Reform. Meeting attendance by Andrew Lightfoot, Deputy Chief Executive, GMCA

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Andrew Lightfoot, Deputy Chief Executive, GMCA introduced a report which provided an overview of the White Paper on Unified Public Services for the people of Greater Manchester which had been agreed by the GMCA in July 2019.

 

Jane Forrest, Assistant Director Reform, added that the White Paper sat alongside a number of key strategies for Greater Manchester including; the Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), the Health and Social Care (HSC) Prospectus, and the Standing Together Plan. It represents a significant step forward in our reform ambitions, setting out a 21st century vision for public services and putting forward Greater Manchester (GM) as an international leader in this field.  Principally, it aimed to improve outcomes for people across Greater Manchester, but it also sought to provide a platform to influence the future direction of central government policy and spending.

 

It was acknowledged that the White Paper was not prescriptive in its nature, and did not define how services should be delivered, but asked that localities pay attention to delivering change inline with six key features, and did these things relentlessly to achieve greater change.

 

The detail of the GM Model was based on learning from work in neighbourhoods in each of the ten localities within GM, reform work in thematic areas (e.g. Troubled Families Programme, Working Well etc.) and a series of self-assessment processes conducted by the 10 localities of GM themselves.

 

Members received a presentation (at Appendix 1) from Mark Widdup, Executive Director, Rochdale Council, which provided an overview of the ‘Reform and Transformation in the Rochdale Borough so far’, outlining how Rochdale were implementing the principles, and what areas they were paying particular attention to.

 

The following key points were highlighted:

 

·         The focus was not on policy but on citizens

·         Rochdale have opted to split the borough into five townships (of 30,000-50,000) to enable connectivity to communities.

·         Governance structures had been reviewed with the development of a Strategic Place Board (an amalgamation of PSR and the Health and Wellbeing Board).

·         The focus was centred on the role of citizens.

·         The workforce was being developed to ensure that leaders, and future leaders, can instill confidence in staff to work in the way outlined. 

 

Members raised the following questions and comments:

 

·         Members welcomed the proposal but highlighted that not all localities would be able to split their areas as suggested (into populations of 30,000-50,000 residents) due to urban areas. Would these areas be able to achieve the same outcomes?  Jane Forest advised that the White Paper did not prescribe default population levels, but suggested that it made sense in terms of the administrative arrangements, to allow services to integrate, and provides the framework and opportunities to focus on smaller communities where there is need. This suggestion draws on the work which had taken place on the HSC integration agenda, which found that GP surgeries and schools were central to engaging with citizens.

·         How will the GMCA encourage localities to review their governance arrangements, in particularly, to strengthen their scrutiny arrangements? It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

CONSULTATION REPORT FOR THE PROGRAMME FOR CHANGE OUTLINE BUSINESS CASE pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Report of Corporate Leadership Team, GMFRS. Dawn Docx, Deputy Chief Fire Officer will be in attendance at the meeting.

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Kevin Lee, Director of Mayor’s Office, introduced the item, noting that following the close of the consultation and the continuing engagement with Trade Unions, Leaders had met that morning to consider the proposals, and had agreed the points below: 

 

a)      Retaining current crewing levels and maintaining firefighter numbers at or above May 2017 levels for this financial year (and the Mayor is considering the options to extend this beyond April 2020);

b)      Retaining an additional 11 specialist prevention staff to support complex cases and address safeguarding concerns;

c)      Allowing more time for the transition of prevention activity to ensure firefighters are adequately trained and equipped;

d)      Developing alternative delivery models for volunteering and cadets;

e)      Retaining Princes Trust, reducing the number of teams from seven to five, whilst allowing more time to develop future options;

f)       Developing an improved delivery model for Protection including continued efforts on High Rise, Grenfell implications and improving fire safety within the Private Rented Sector;

g)      Undertaking a limited restructure of administration activity initially, allowing more time for the development of a centrally managed delivery model;

h)      Recommendation that the capital schemes as set out in the OBC are incorporated into the Service’s Capital Programme;

i)        Ongoing investment in stations, including welfare facilities.

 

It was acknowledged that the revised proposals reflected previous concerns raised by the Committee, and Members were informed that the Mayor was keen to hear their views, before any final decisions were made.

 

Members were informed that with regards to the Government Spending Review, it was understood that the fire grant would be uplifted to be a flat grant, notwithstanding, confirmation had not yet been received in relation to addressing the pension’s shortfall of £5.7 million. If the Government did not meet this shortfall, it would need to be addressed through the GMFRS budget. It was agreed that further updates would be circulated to the Committee as appropriate.

 

In relation proposal to reduce the number of non-uniformed staff, which initially would have affected 113 posts, it was highlighted that following consultation, this has reduced to 60 posts. It was reiterated that, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were still determined to avoid compulsory redundancies for support staff, and work was underway across the GMCA family, to identify alternative opportunities for those staff affected.

 

Members were informed that the Mayor was proposing to maintain the current crewing levels and firefighter numbers at or above May 2017 levels (1121 firefighters) for this financial year. This commitment, supported by overtime arrangements, and the continued use of reserves, has proposed to maintain current crewing arrangements of 5:4:4 and 50 fire engines in the short term, to allow more time for discussions with the Fire Bridgades Union (FBU) about the number of fire engines available, and the crewing levels that could realistically be achieved. The long-term viability of this arrangement however, was dependent on future funding settlements from government, which at this stage was unclear.

 

Members raised the following questions and comments:

 

·         Members from Manchester and Salford Labour  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

HER MAJESTY'S INSPECTORATE OF CONSTABULARY AND FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES (HMICFRS) - FIRE INSPECTION REGIME UPDATE REPORT pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Report of Tony Hunter, Director of Protection and Strategy, Planning, Performance & Continuous Improvement (SPPCI).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Tony Hunter, Director of Protection and SPPCI, GMFRS, provided an overview of the HMICFRS inspection regime, GMFRS inspection activities, and the response to the recommendations.

 

The following key points were highlighted:

 

·         The HMICFRS published its report into GMFRS’ 20th June 2019, on their website detailing how it had been graded.  The Service was graded as ‘Good’ at:

-          Understanding the risk of fire and other emergencies and responding to fires and other emergencies.

-          Making the fire and rescue service affordable now and in the future.

·         The report also highlighted several areas for improvement, with recommendations, where the Service should take actions to address.  The report identified 19 ‘Areas for Improvement’, 2 ‘Causes of Concern’ and 4 ‘Recommendations’.

·         Following the publication of the inspection report GMFRS had developed an action plan detailing the four recommendations and the planned actions to address these areas (Appendix A).  The action plan had been aligned to the Programme for Change, so that areas of work could be progressed simultaneously. The action plan was progressing with vigour and would be updated regularly, with these published on the GMFRS website on the ‘About Us’ page.

·         It was not yet clear when the next formal inspection of GMFRS would take place or whether the format would be a subsequent full inspection or themed against specific areas.  An ongoing relationship would be maintained with the inspectorate through the HMICFRS SLO and sharing of progress updates against the action plan.

 

The Committee welcomed the update and requested that the next update be focussed upon how they were addressing the two areas which had been rated inadequate; equality and diversity, and culture.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.      That the report be noted.

 

2.      That the recommendations for action form the HMICFRS report and GMFRS improvement plan to address these be noted.

 

3.      That a progress report be provided in December 2019 focused on the areas which were rated ‘inadequate’ (equality and diversity, and culture). 

 

28.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 396 KB

Report of Joanne Heron, Statutory Scrutiny Officer, GMCA

Minutes:

Joanne Heron, Statutory Scrutiny Officer, introduced the 2019/20 work programme for Members to review, develop and agree.

 

It was confirmed that the Mayor would be in attendance at the next meeting to present the Greater Manchester Strategy update. The Chair requested that the report outlines the challenging issues which the Mayor would like the Committee to consider. A Member suggested that the Committee may want to focus on homelessness.

 

The Committee were reminded that a further training sessions with Richard Paver, GMCA Treasurer would be arranged, to help Members better scrutinise the budget setting process. The training session would be scheduled prior to a Committee meeting at 5pm. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.      That the work programme be agreed.

 

2.       That the Greater Manchester Strategy update report due to be considered by the Committee in October 2019 outline key areas for the Committee to consider. 

 

29.

REGISTER OF KEY DECISIONS

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Register of Key Decisions be noted.

 

30.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Tuesday 15 October at 6pm, GMCA Offices

Minutes:

Tuesday 15 October 2019 at 6pm, GMCA Offices