Venue: Conference Room 1 - Fred Perry House - Stockport. View directions
Contact: Damian Eaton (0161 474 3207)
Declarations of Interest
Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests which they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
The following interest was declared:-
Stephen Gribbon Agenda Item 3 – ‘Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service: Fire Cover Review and Special Appliances Review 2023’ and Agenda Item 4 – ‘Scrutiny of the Proposed Changes Contained Within the 2023-2024 GMFRS Fire Cover Review to the Operation of Offerton Community Fire station’ as an ex-serving Fire Officer at Offerton Fire Station and his partner was a current serving Fire Officer at Stalybridge.
To consider call-in items (if any).
There were no call-in items to consider.
To consider a report of the Director of Place Management.
The purpose of the report is to inform the Scrutiny Committee of proposed changes for the fire service in Stockport and seek members’ views
The Assistant Chief Fire Officer will be in attendance to set out the proposals and explain why they have been made and the expected impact for Stockport.
Representatives from the Fire Brigade Union have also been invited to the meeting.
The Committee is recommended to comment on the report.
Officer Contact: Mark Glynn at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Director of Place Management submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) informing the Committee of the proposed changes for the fire service in Stockport and seeking Members’ views.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.
Scrutiny of the Proposed Changes Contained within the 2023-2024 GMFRS Fire Cover Review to the Operation of Offerton Community Fire Station
The purpose of the extraordinary meeting is to examine and comment on the changes proposed within the 2023-2024 GMFRS Fire Cover Review to the operation of Offerton Community Fire Station and the planned rebuild of Stockport Community Fire Station.
A link to the Fire Cover Review and Special Appliances review consultation will be issued separately.
The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to: -
(1) comment upon and note the proposals
(2) Delegate to the Director of Place Management in consultation with the Chair a response to the GMCA's open consultation, which closes on 10 July 2023, on behalf of the committee.
The Chief Fire Officer and Assistant Chief Fire Officer of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service presented a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the proposals contained within the Fire Cover Review Consultation.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:
· It was noted that the proposal of the GMFRS was to extend day crewing to two further stations, Offerton and Sale which, if agreed, would alter the response from fire fighters at the stations to on-call arrangements within a four minute boundary.
· GMFRS representatives stated that a recalibration of its resources would result in more prevention and protection capabilities and a more resilient emergency response with the addition of two wholetime fire engines.
· It was noted that a consultation was currently ongoing to seek views on those proposals.
· Members queried the level of consultation that had taken place with the staff at Offerton Fire Station.
· It was reported that the Chief Fire Officer had visited the station and had an open session with the staff and that a further session was planned. Nonetheless it was not intended to ask for staff’s views on the proposal itself as it was data-driven. GMFRS was confident that it would be able to find 13 staff to run the station and, ideally, many would come from Offerton.
· It was further reported that the day crewing model had proved popular among staff at other stations due to a 17.5 per cent pay uplift; the service currently had a waiting list for posts at stations operating the day crewing model.
· The performance of current day crewing stations was constantly monitored in terms of turnout to the station, training and levels of activity; GMFRS reported that there were no indications that the system was failing.
· The GMFRS reported that the day crewing proposals would have an impact on the speed of night-time responses which, including a four minute response into the fire station, would result in slower response times. However, GMFRS stated that the fire appliance at Offerton was not turning out every hour throughout the night; call-outs were infrequent and the proposal provided fire service cover in a more efficient and effective way. The service was not being removed, although the response times would increase.
· The night time response had been calculated at being two minutes and 20 seconds longer, on average, under the new proposals.
· The GMFRS stated that the impact of the increase in response time was worth the gain of additional fire appliances elsewhere in Greater Manchester.
· It was noted that in the context of the review there were no alternative proposals considered although GMFRS looked at which localities were suitable for day crewing. After applying a data lens and professional judgement Offerton and Sale were chosen.
· Members reported that they had spoken to residents in Offerton and, anecdotally, approximately 99 per cent were deeply concerned about the proposed changes and queried the level at which GMFRS planned to take account of residents’ views when making its decision.
· GMFRS reported that residents’ views would be taken into full account and that the consultation period had been extended by a further two weeks. It was noted that online responses totalled approximately 600 and were mainly made up of Stockport and Trafford Residents. It was acknowledged that the general consensus within the respondents of the consultation were mainly unsupportive of the proposal.
· The GMFRS stated that it had expected a negative response to a proposal for fire engine call outs to take longer.
· The GMFRS stated that it was committed to listening to the views of local residents and that once the consultation closed, it would look carefully at responses and balance those against the final decision taken in respect of the proposals.
· GMFRS acknowledged that there might be a scenario whereby local residents, Councillors, Cabinet and local fire station crews were all opposed to the proposals but they went ahead in ... view the full minutes text for item 4.