AT A MEETING of the HAMPSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE AUTHORITY HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE held at Fire and Rescue Headquarters, Eastleigh on 3 July 2009.
Councillors: F. Jonas (Vice-Chairman); A. Fraser; R.J. Kimber; Sam Payne; M.J. Tucker; J.K. West; Mrs. P.A. West
In the absence of the of the Chairman, Councillor F. Jonas, Vice-Chairman took the Chair.
COUNCILLOR F. JONAS IN THE CHAIR
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Councillors K.G. Chapman;
Mrs. J.K. Frankum; P. Galton
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members were mindful that, where they believed they had a personal or personal prejudicial interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting, they should normally at the time of the debate declare their interest, and having regard to the circumstances described in
paragraphs 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the Fire and Rescue Authority's Code of Conduct, consider whether to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 12 of the Code.
Councillor A. Fraser declared a personal interest - Member of Fire Brigade Union
The Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 30 April 2009 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
4. CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
There were no Chairman's announcements.
There were no deputations to the meeting.
6. MEMBER DEVELOPMENT - UPDATE
Councillor Sam Payne advised Members that work was in progress on Member development and that a full update would be presented to the Committee at the next meeting.
The Committee considered the report of the Chief Officer (Item 7 in the Minute Book) on the actual and authorised establishment as at 31 May 2009. Account was taken of efficiency savings, deletions of posts and successful bids or variations within the Service's authorised establishment level which ensured utilising staff in the most appropriate way. Members noted details of the wholetime trainee course that had commenced in April 2009 and the opportunity for 6 retained firefighters to transfer to the wholetime duty system. There were a number of vacancies for retained firefighters, particularly in Kingsclere and Winchester. Efforts were being made to address this.
That the changes to establishment under the Chief Officer's delegated powers contained in the report be noted.
8. PROJECT AND PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT
The Committee considered the report of the Chief Officer (Item 8 in the Minute Book) on the plans to move the Service to a Project and Programme Management approach to ensure that all development work was managed under a single governance system. This was felt an effective way of helping to cut across all organisational boundaries. An example of what the proposal might look like was presented. The benefits of introducing this approach included:
· Clearer governance arrangements.
· Reduced numbers of meetings.
· Standardised systems, language, paperwork and ways of working to provide consistency of approach.
· Risk registers, issues logs, timelines, inter-dependencies, benefits realisation and evaluation applied more effectively across transformational change activities.
· Reduced risk of duplication, conflicting agenda's and lost opportunities.
· Improved resource management.
· Improved strategic oversight.
· General improvement in change management.
Members noted the financial implications which would include the costs of additional staff to support the initiative of £87,000 plus ICT costs of £800 for initial equipment purchase with ongoing annual maintenance of £1,800. The funding for the Programme Manager to oversee the implementation of this new way of working would be available from April 2010.
a. the introduction of Project & Programme Management as the primary methodology of managing transformational change activities be endorsed.
b. the proposal to set up a Programme Office to oversee programme activities and provide specialist support, guidance and advice on change management, organisational development and Project & Programme Management be endorsed.
c. the proposal to employ a Programme Manager and Programme Facilitator/Administrator from April 2010 be endorsed.
d. the proposal to establish a virtual Organisational Development (OD) Network to support transformation activity and to best utilise specialist skills, knowledge and experience in successfully managing change be endorsed.
9. CHILD PROTECTION ARRANGEMENTS
The Committee considered the report of the Chief Officer (Item 9 in the Minute Book) on work to help protect children, young people and vulnerable adults. Work was being conducted to meet the Service's obligation to take all reasonable steps to help protect children, young people and vulnerable adults as a provider of services to the public. The Service had taken 3 key steps to achieve this aim. These were to update the entry on the Corporate Risk Register, to update the Criminal Disclosure Service Order and to introduce arrangements to undertake criminal record checks on key employees who have contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults as a regular part of their role.
a. the risk item (Ref 11 - as shown in Appendix A to the report) on the Corporate Risk Register relating to the protection of vulnerable members of the community be noted.
b. the Criminal Disclosure Service Order had been amended to reflect the current Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) procedures and policy being applied within Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
c. the arrangements to undertake criminal record checks on all key employees who had contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults as a regular part of their role, which includes station based operational staff be noted.
d. the budget provisions made in relation to the increased expenditure for the increased number of CRB checks being undertaken be noted.
10. DIRECTORATE REVIEW
The Committee considered the report of the Chief Officer (Item 10 in the Minute Book) on the review of the most senior leadership structures of the Service . The Service was currently in a period of significant and sustained change. The drivers were both externally and internally generated and many areas of the organisation were subject to reviews to ensure that they were able to best meet the future needs of the communities we serve and ensure best value in the current economic climate. It was therefore considered timely and appropriate to commission a review of the most senior leadership structures of the Service. The overriding aim was to ensure that the Service was in the best possible position to provide the leadership, direction and governance required to meet existing and future challenges as a Fire and Rescue Service and to help achieve the goal of being the best Fire and Rescue Service in the country. An external consultant had been employed to carry out the review at a cost of £8,050 plus VAT. It was confirmed that there would be no additional costs to this agreed fee.
That the commissioning of a review of the Directorate structure by the Chief Officer be noted and that he will receive a report on the findings in July 2009.
11. APPOINTMENT OF HFRA MEMBERS TO PRINCIPAL OFFICER PAY REVIEW GROUP
That the Chairman, in discussion with Members, agrees the membership of the principal pay review group.