Agenda and draft minutes

Staffordshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel - Monday 1st February 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Meeting to be conducted using Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Mandy Pattinson  Email: mandy.pattinson@staffordshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

 

2.

Minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Panel meeting held on 26 October 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

 

NOTE BY CLERK:  Sue Finney, attended the meeting as an observer representing the ETAP.

 

3.

Questions to the PFCC from Members of the Public

Questions to the Commissioner are invited from members of the public who live or work in Staffordshire.  Notice of questions must be received by no later than three clear working days before the Panel meeting.  More information on where and how to submit a question can be found at https://bit.ly/34arVDw

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no questions asked on this occasion.

There were no questions from members of the public on this occasion.

 

4.

Decisions published by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC)

 

202021/003 Joint Emergency Transport Jets (JETS)

 

https://staffordshire-pfcc.gov.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/SCPF-D-202021-003.pdf

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Details were submitted of decisions published by the Commissioner since the last Panel meeting.

 

Joint Emergency Transport (JETS) (Decision no. 202021/003)   

 

Members sought more information on how this would create savings.  The Commissioner reported that the changes were more about efficiency than financial savings and that it provided for options for both Fire and Police services in the future.

 

RESOLVED – That the decision was noted.

 

5.

Proposed Police Budget and Precept 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

a)    Budget Report 2021/22 including MTFS

b)    Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22

c)    Reserves strategy update

d)    Capital Strategy and Capital Programme

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Commissioner introduced his report which set out the proposed budget and precept proposals for the Police and Crime element of his portfolio for 2021/22.  He reported that the Home Office Police Grant for Staffordshire had been set at £122.417million, an increase of £7.259million on the previous year. The total policing requirement was £222.051 million.  Other sources of funding were from the Police Pension Grant £1.825million; Uplift Ring-fenced grant £1.483million; Revenue Support Grant of £8.423million and Council Tax freeze grant £3.541million; Local Council Tax Support grant £1.365million and a deficit of £200,000 from the Council Tax Collection Fund.

 

The Commissioner was proposing to part fund the balance from Council Tax funding of £83.197 million proposed increase of 5.99% per annum (£13.48 pa per Band D property). The Commissioner informed the Panel that this figure was below the permitted limit of £15 but felt that it struck a balance between what could reasonably be asked of Council tax payers and the investment required in local policing. 

 

The Commissioner explained the following headline investments would be made during the course of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) above those provided for by Central Government:

 

·       Increasing Digital Forensic examination capacity and capability,

·       Increasing capacity within Force Intelligence,

·       Increasing transformation capability

·       A significant investment, via the capital programme, in Police IT,

·       A modern and fit for purpose Policing Estate,

·       A modern fit for purpose Police fleet

 

The Commissioner felt that this was a challenging financial position, with significant uncertainty into the medium term which made planning very challenging.  The current Covid-19 pandemic had had a significant impact on the tax base and deficits on collection funds from 2020/21. 

 

The Panel received a presentation from the Chief Finance Officer, which was considered along with the report which included the following:

 

a)         Budget Report 2021/22 including MTFS

b)         Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22

c)          Reserves Strategy update

d)         Capital Strategy and Capital Programme

 

The Panel noted that the Settlement was for one year only in view of Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review and acknowledged the increased level of risk built into the 2021/22 budgets due to uncertainty around future funding.  

 

Members asked if the level of debt and level of reserves were acceptable to the Chief Financial Officer.  In response it was reported that the level of debt was detailed in the Treasury Management Strategy and Capital Programme and this may increase in the medium term due in part to the proposed investment in a Operation Hub / Firearms Range.  It was explained that this had only been granted outline business case approval at present and a more detailed business case was needed prior to decision, but if granted this may affect borrowing.  The level of reserves had improved over recent years and was now more acceptable.

 

The main financial risks to the budget were outlined as:

·            One-year spending review and the assumption of a cash flat central government funding over 4-year MTFS and a c8% real term cut over the same period.

·            Pensions cost as a result  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

National Conference for Police, Fire and Crime Panels/ National Association of Police Fire and Crime Panel AGM Feedback Report pdf icon PDF 384 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from its member and officer representatives at the AGM of the National Association of Police, Fire and Crime Panels and the National Conference for Panels, both held virtually on 23-25 November 2020.

 

The keynote speakers included Lord Toby Harris (Co-Chair of the all-party parliamentary group on policing and security); Paddy Tipping (Chair of the Police and Crime Commissions); Yvette Cooper (Chair of Select Committee  on Home Affairs);  Olivia Pinkney (Chief Constable, Hampshire Police) and Becci Bryant (Chief Fire Officer, Staffordshire). 

 

Workshops attended as part of the National Conference had included discussions on ‘Effective Scrutiny’ with reference to the importance of a clear understanding of the relationship between, and role of, each of the parties involved in Panels.  Other Workshop themes included the ‘Elections 2021’. 

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

7.

Questions to the PFCC by Panel Members

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members of the Panel questioned/sought the views of the Commissioner on the following issues and received the responses indicated:

 

Question/Issue

Response

Can the Panel be provided with detail of the Addiction Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery (ADDER) Project.

A response will be provided.

Can the Commissioner explain the alleged increase in crime in Stone?

It was explained that this was in hand and was not as serious as was led to believe.

Did the Commissioner support the White paper on sentencing pilots and secure schools?

The Commissioner did support the white paper.

The number of and role of PCSO’s was questioned as it was felt that numbers were reducing.

The Commissioner agreed to provide the information along with that requested under the previous report.

As there was a proposal to develop a new Firing range, had there been an increase in fire arms crime?

The Commissioner reported that there had been an increase across the county as a whole.  The need for a new firing range would be reported back to the Panel in due course.

Where there any further plans to merge Police and Fire services in Stoke on Trent?

Ways of working more efficiently was always considered in all areas of the county.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.

Dates of Future Meetings and Work Programme pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Panel would be held on 15 February 2021 to consider the Fire and Rescue Budget and Precept 2021/22.

 

It was noted that the 22 March meeting had been moved to 10 March in order to miss the pre-election purdah period.

 

RESOLVED – That the dates future meetings be noted.