MD2448 London Fire Commissioner- Statement of Assurance 2017/18

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD2448
Date signed: 
25 March 2019
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

The London Fire Commissioner is required to prepare an annual Statement of Assurance in accordance with the Fire and Rescue National Framework for England.

Under the new governance arrangements for fire introduced by the 2017 Policing and Crime Act, the London Fire Commissioner is also required to send a copy of their Statement to the Assembly and then the Mayor for comment. The Statement may not be published until both parties have had the opportunity to comment.

The Statement has been considered by the Assembly’s Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee, which received and noted it and referred it onto the Mayor. The Mayor’s approval is now requested.

Decision

That the Mayor:

Approves the London Fire Commissioner’s annual Statement of Assurance for 2017/18, noting that this will constitute notification to the London Fire Commissioner that it may now be published.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The London Fire Commissioner is required to prepare an annual Statement of Assurance in accordance with the Fire and Rescue National Framework for England. The Statement provides assurance to communities and government on financial, governance and operational matters. Guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government governs what is published in the document.

A copy of the 2017/18 Statement of Assurance is attached at Appendix A. During the period covered, 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, the now former London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority was the body responsible for providing such assurance that Brigade business was conducted in accordance with the law and appropriate standards. However, since 1 April 2018, this responsibility is now held by the London Fire Commissioner (LFC).

The new governance arrangements for fire under the 2017 Policing and Crime Act came into effect on 1 April 2018. Section 327G of the GLA Act 1999 (as amended by the Policing and Crime Act) states that any document prepared in accordance with the above Framework, and which sets out the Commissioner’s priorities and objectives or contains a statement of the way in which the Commissioner has had regard to the Framework, must be sent in draft to the Mayor and Assembly prior to it being published.

The sequence is that the Assembly must have the opportunity to review the draft document or revision and make a report on it to the Mayor, then the Mayor will need to approve the draft document or revision.

This 2017/18 Statement of Assurance was considered by the Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee of the London Assembly at its meeting on 31 January 2019. It received and noted the Statement and agreed that this form the recommendation to the Mayor in accordance with the requirement set out in the Act (Appendix B). As a result, the Mayor’s approval is now requested.

The LFC Governance Direction of 2018, which sets out the matters which require the prior approval of the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor for Fire, requires the latter to be consulted as far as practicable before a decision on matters which require the consent of the Mayor under that direction. The Deputy Mayor for Fire has been engaged throughout this process and on 13 November 2018 LFB officers presented a draft to the Deputy Mayor at her Fire and Resilience Board. Subsequently, she also attended, with the Commissioner, the meeting of the Assembly’s Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee on 31 January 2019. The Deputy Mayor for Fire recommends that the Mayor approve it.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The purpose of the Statement of Assurance is to provide assurance on financial, governance and operational matters, and show how the LFB have had regard to the expectations in their integrated risk management plan, and to the requirements included in the Fire and Rescue National Framework for England. A specific section relating to the Grenfell Tower fire has been included. In addition, detailed performance data has also been included in the report, over and above the basic requirements of the Framework.

The approval process for the document contributes towards the democratic remit the Mayor and Assembly have over the way the LFC exercises its functions.

Equality comments

The Statement of Assurance is a reflection of the elements that make up the Brigade’s governance framework. Equality and diversity formed part of the assurance gathering processes which supported the production of the statement. The statement describes the LFB’s systems of internal control and specifically refers to this encompassing ‘providing adherence to the Authority’s values and ethical standards through the application of the leadership model and equality framework’. Significant elements of the framework which have the potential to impact on those with protected characteristics and enable the Brigade to foster good relations in the community, are subject to an equality analysis, to ensure that any impacts as a result of Brigade proposals are identified, assessed and mitigated where possible, in line with Brigade policy which seeks to embed consideration of equality and diversity at all levels within the service.

In particular, the Statement of Assurance is closely aligned to the London Safety Plan, which was subject to a full equality impact analysis to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. This analysis was reported to the former London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority when they considered the Plan in March 2017. The analysis considered the anticipated impact of specific proposals on people who shared protected characteristics with supporting evidence, details of consultation and proposed actions to mitigate any negative impact.

LFB has provided assurances that when the approved Statement is published on the web, accessible formats will be available as required.

Other considerations

Risk Management: The Statement of Assurance sets out how the LFB takes a risk-based approach to support the priorities in the London Safety Plan.

Financial comments

There are no direct financial implications to the GLA arising from this decision.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Formal notification to LFC

March 2019

Publication by LFC of Assurance Statement

By 1 April 2019

Submission of 2018/19 Statement

November 2019