MD2020 REVIEW OF RESOURCING OF THE LONDON FIRE BRIGADE
The Mayor intends to contract Anthony Mayer to lead a review of the resourcing of the London Fire Brigade. This is in order to provide assurance to the Mayor that with the service is fully equipped for the challenges ahead, not only for dealing with and preventing fires, but also coping with major civil contingencies such as a terrorist attack or flood. The review will run from August to October 2016.
That the Mayor approves:
1. A review of resourcing of the London Fire Brigade;
2. The appointment of Anthony Mayer to undertake the review; and
3. Expenditure up to a maximum of £7,500 (excluding VAT) to procure the services of Anthony Mayer to undertake the review.
Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice
Aim of the review
1.1 The Greater London Authority (GLA) will undertake a review of the resources required by the London Fire Brigade (LFB), in the context of the impact of the cuts made by the previous Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and with the aim of ensuring that the service is fully equipped for the challenges ahead, not only for dealing with and preventing fires but also coping with major civil contingencies such as a terrorist attack or flood.
1.2 The LFB budget was significantly cut under Boris Johnson’s Mayoralty. Since 2009/10 the LFB has had to find nearly £106m in savings. Until 2014 the majority of these savings only impacted on non-operational staff and included reprioritisations and greater efficiencies. However the then Mayor cut the budget further in 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17. Additionally nearly £50m was taken from LFB reserves to help fund the Metropolitan Police. According to the budget developed under the previous Mayoralty, funding is due to be reduced by a further £22m over the next three financial years from 2017/18 to 2019/20.
1.3 Cuts in the previous Mayoral term led to the closure of ten fire stations, the removal of 27 fire appliances and of over 500 firefighter posts. Over half the wards in London have seen an increase in attendance times following these cuts. As a result, concerns have been raised about the capacity of the LFB to carry out its work effectively. The extent of further cuts to Government grant funding to the Brigade is unclear but the new Mayor has been clear that funding should be on the basis of what is needed to ensure the Brigade is sufficiently resourced to keep London and Londoners safe.
Proposed terms of reference
1.4 It is proposed that the review will assess the resources required by the LFB to ensure that the fire service is fully equipped to protect the capital now and in the future.
1.5 In particular, the review should consider:
• The impact of the cuts during the previous Mayoralty on the LFB’s core aims around prevention, protection and response;
• The ability for the LFB to effectively manage civil contingencies as defined by the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act; and
• What, if any, additional resources required by the LFB to undertake its work effectively now and in the future.
1.6 Stakeholders to be consulted in the review should include:
• The LFB – including staff at a range of levels in the organisation;
• London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) Members, including the Chair;
• Representative bodies;
• Local Government in London;
• Other emergency services; and
• Other relevant agencies/community groups.
1.7 The timeframe should take into account the on-going preparatory work for the Sixth London Safety Plan (LSP6) in order that the review can form the strategic drive for LSP6:
• August 2016 – review lead to be appointed by the Mayor;
• August & September 2016 – review of resources, including access to data and information from LFB and consultation with stakeholders; and
• October 2016 – report issued with recommendations (ahead of budget challenge process and of draft LSP6 document going to LFEPA meeting in November 2016).
1.8 The outputs from the review will be:
• A report making an assessment of the capacity of the LFB and setting out the impact of the cuts over the previous administration; and
• The Resourcing Review will form the strategic drive for LSP6 and may also contain recommendations for immediate resource implications.
Other related reviews
1.9 The review will need to work alongside the terror preparedness review, especially around LFB capabilities.
1.10 The output of the review will inform the development of LSP6 with recommendations that can be included in LSP6.
Proposed review lead
1.10 The proposed review lead is Anthony Mayer. Anthony was Chief Executive of the GLA between 2000 and 2008. He led on London Resilience matters and on setting up the London Bombings Charitable Relief fund. Assignments before 2000 included the roles of Chief Executive of the Housing Corporation and Managing Director of Rothschild Asset Management.
1.11 Secretariat support for the review will be provided by the Head of Finance & Governance in the GLA.
2.1 There is not expected to be any negative impact in terms of equality as part of this review; it will be mindful of all the requirements set out in the Equality Act 2010 and as a result will be of benefit to all Londoners.
3.1 The budget allocated to this review is £7,500 (excluding VAT) based on 15 days of Anthony Mayer’s time at £500 per day. This is viewed as representing good value for money for the Authority. It will be paid from the Corporate Management Team Budget.
4.1 Under section 30 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (GLA Act), the Mayor has power, subject to section 31, to do anything which among other things promotes social development in London. Taking steps to review the capacity of the LFB to respond to fires and emergencies appears to fall within the broad concept of social development.
4.2 Section 31(1) of the GLA Act limits the power of the Mayor to incur expenditure in doing anything which may be done by, among other bodies, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). LFEPA’s role under Part 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 includes making provision for the purpose of dealing with fires and other emergencies and protecting life and property in London, and securing the provision of the necessary personnel, services and equipment.
4.3 Under section 31(6) of the GLA Act, however, section 31(1) does not prevent the Mayor incurring expenditure in co-operating with, or facilitating or co-ordinating the activities of, LFEPA (or other relevant bodies). The proposed review, including the proposed consultation with LFEPA referred to above, appears to fall within the concept of co-operating with, or facilitating or co-ordinating the activities of LFEPA.
4.4 Because the proposed level of expenditure is under £10,000 a competitive procurement process is not required.
5.1 This decision falls outside of the terms of reference of the Investment & Performance Board.
Appoint Anthony Mayer
Review Start Date
August & September 2016
Delivery End Date