BNC Text J3T

Shropshire County Council Public Protection Committee: committee meeting. Sample containing about 10442 words speech recorded in public context

8 speakers recorded by respondent number C467

PS3NS X m (No name, age unknown) chairman
PS3NT X f (Jennifer, age unknown) unspecified
PS3NU X m (Dave, age unknown) unspecified
PS3NV X m (George, age unknown, chief fire officer) unspecified
PS3NW X m (No name, age unknown, colonel) unspecified
J3TPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J3TPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J3TPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 109902 recorded on 1994-01-12. LocationShropshire () Activity: committee meeting

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [1] I haven't managed to escape there, I'm glad just to get on the pitch.
[2] Now erm, I haven't been to a match lately, but these pictures I've seen, there's still all these fences around to stop people doing that.
[3] Erm, what is the situation in our own stadiums?
George (PS3NV) [4] Well we don't have fences, [...] but erm, we are the regulatory authority but the County Council are the regulatory authority for the sports venues.
[5] The Fire Service have the delegated authority for them and the situation in our local sports events is quite adequate.
[6] There's work that needs to be done, in most of the major sports grounds, but that's proceeding and there's, if you can imagine that there's, in Shrewsbury for example, a lot of the work which we would want to be done on the grounds have been less than enthusiastic about doing, because they're likely not to be there for very long.
[7] But, and I have no concerns about sports ground sale, we've regulated the numbers because they had some concerns about the [...] and that, that itself has caused [...] 's fellow supporters some problems, but we've actually restricted the number of people who can use the sports ground.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [8] Right, so they're game heavy you think?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [9] [laughing] I wonder if it's free to them []
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [10] Only people that the gate can know the christian names of are allowed in.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [laugh]
George (PS3NV) [11] I have here a [...] comments that there wasn't any point in really restricting the numbers.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [12] I think they'd have three now as well as David.
(PS3NS) [13] Councillor ?
Jennifer (PS3NT) [14] I'll, I was just going to say, Chairman, I, I too am very concerned really about the number of premises where it is advisory to the District Councils, or advisory to [...] .
[15] Bearing in mind the number of private nursing homes that spring up and erm, er, I mean the sort of privately run places er, presumably the local authorities have to give them a licence to run, but is there no way that it, can the Fire Service, can our officers go and make an inspection?
[16] Clearly they have no power to do so, even if somebody asks them to, somebody from outside for instance, erm, and, and also when they do get a fire certificate, is there a display for it?
[17] Or stuck in the back of an office, or, or could they have something sort of glossy like the half kingdom Tourist Board stars, that they can put on their windows, [clears throat] to let people know that at least that particular nursing home or whatever establishment it is, has been duly inspected by our Fire Services?
[18] I mean, otherwise one assumes simply that people don't know.
George (PS3NV) [19] Mm, well th the answer to the first question is that, no we don't have any authority to enter premises like that, where we haven't been invited unless somebody has identified a potentially dangerous condition.
[20] Section ten of the Fire Precautions Act gives me the power to inspect any premises where we believe there is a threat to life, other than domestic premises.
[21] And there are certain circumstances in which we can do that.
[22] It also gives me the power to prohibit or restrict the use of those premises until those conditions are alleviated.
[23] In that document, there is a very strong reference to the fact that that power should be either restrictive or removed and that there should be a right of appeal against it, which would effectively prevent us from using it.
[24] In terms of nursing homes, we don't issue fire certificates anyway, we only issue certificates to offices, shops, building premises because they were under the Act, Hotels and Factories.
[25] So a nursing home, hospital and school, residential or otherwise, is never certificated, and any advice that we give is exactly that.
[26] It's not mandatory.
Jennifer (PS3NT) [27] That surely is [clears throat] is, is of quite concern to people in some way registering whether a place is considered safe or not.
George (PS3NV) [28] It's through Social Services or the Area Health Authority.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [29] That is there responsibility?
George (PS3NV) [30] To keep the place from the Fire Authority as from others.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [31] Yes, mm
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [32] Yes, but they've got to have a, you, you've got to have a, you've got [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [33] Leaving, leaving, leaving aside their er,ob sorry Chairman.
(PS3NS) [34] Yes, I'll come back to you, sorry.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [35] [...] just mention what I've heard, the only statutory job he could do, is apply his licence in [...] .
[36] Is the Fire Officer given every individual case where they apply for a licence over an old people's home, and er, this sort of thing?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [37] Oh yes.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [38] And can't you keep it, keep the Fire Officer when the home's licence er, if they don't carry out statutory duties as required?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
George (PS3NV) [39] We, we, we, I suppose it'd be like two levels, that in the majority of cases we could say we recommend that you do not issue a licence.
[40] Social Services are really a help, we could choose to ignore that, I have to say that I'm not aware of that happening, and I think it's very unlikely.
[41] Because it would be a very dangerous thing for someone to do.
[42] The other element is that the county's are so dangerous, and that's actually quite unusual, they're so dangerous that we consider they present a risk and it has to be me that considers it presents a risk to life, and I can either restrict the use of [...] premises, but I can prohibit the use entirely.
[43] But as I say, this says that,an that's a relatively new and certainly draconian power, and it's recommended in this document that it's removed.
(PS3NW) [44] Please
(PS3NS) [45] Yes Colonel
(PS3NW) [46] Is this, all these wonderful protection of animals, dogs and horses and so on, and pet shops and so on , do, does the Chief Fire Officer think in his local knowledge, that most of these have been inspected by his officers, or does he get the feeling there, that sometimes the district councils are not asking for these inspections?
George (PS3NV) [47] It varies a great deal depending on the district council.
[48] What I have to say really, is that most of those premises present very little risk at all, and, and I think that any change in the implementation of fire safety legislation should be based in prioritization.
[49] Now that's something that's difficult for us to do, because the more dangerous, the more erm, the premises should present the greatest life risk, are not necessarily the ones over which we have strict legislative control.
[50] I mean for example hospitals and nursing homes, we have a purely tenuous control over, whereas we have a very rigid control over a signal box on a railway.
[51] Now a signal box on a railway presents a fairly limited risk to life and a nursing home presents a fairly dramatic risk.
(PS3NS) [52] Yes Jim, or [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [53] Chairman, if, if someone doesn't come under the regulations and is operating a business or something of that sort, [...] is there the facility for that body, either the management body or the business to ask voluntarily for you to inspect, with a view to issue a, er, erm, a certificate er, erm of er, safety?
[54] There's no
George (PS3NV) [55] If anybody wants a fire certificate and we had a recent case where a notable local solicitor asked us to issue a fire certificate and we refused, because his premises does not require one, or did not at that point require a fire certificate.
[56] Then he subsequently moved one person from the ground floor onto the first floor, which meant that he did require a fire certificate.
[57] But if it's not required by law, then I cannot issue, and if people ask for advice we are obliged under Fire Services, the Fire Services Act to give that advice, but what I'm really saying is that with the, the pressure of work on the Fire Safety Department, it's likely that if it's a fairly low risk to life, we'll never get round to it, and that's the honest truth.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [58] That's on your statutory requirement?
George (PS3NV) [59] Yes
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [60] So what you're saying is, that if people er, if people's consciences state I ought to try and do this, but I'm not required by statute to do, the chances is that A, that you, you can't do it anyway, but B you wouldn't have the facilities to do it anyway, as well.
George (PS3NV) [61] We, we, we will normally get round to people.
[62] We do inspect [...] .
[63] But we probably don't inspect and give advice to people who'd like us to, because they're not a priority, and we don't have the resources to do that.
(PS3NS) [64] A lot of interesting points come out there, haven't they?
[65] Cap
George (PS3NV) [66] If, if, if I could summarize, if you could bear with me by saying that, there is no embracing legislation which covers fire safety, and there is no legislation which actually prioritizes it.
[67] What we have is picking up a ragbag of stable door legislation, that came out of other Acts, and that's why we have offices, shops and railway premises from the Oswald Acts which were neatly tucked in the back of Oswald's Act.
[68] Hotels which were in the first days of making order, and factories which came from the old Factories Act.
[69] And the cost, or the potential cost of designating particular, like hospitals and similar premises is so prohibitive that the government has chosen never to implement the designating orders for them.
[70] And I hasten to say it, governments of all persuasions assume it must be being done.
(PS3NS) [71] Someone move the recommendation?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [72] I will
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [73] Yes
(PS3NS) [74] Five point seven, paper J, Fire and Rescue Service Training.
George (PS3NV) [75] Different board is the outcome of the P A G inspection?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [76] Yes, it seems it
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [77] I don't know, Mr Chairman, I think you've always been very keen on this trend and supported it fully.
[78] And, I, I will support this number seven, seven with recommendations.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [79] Thank you there
(PS3NS) [80] We are moving on reasonably well on this issue.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [81] Yes, well we've got to
(PS3NS) [82] Reasonably well, yes, reasonably well
George (PS3NV) [83] Then I hesitate to say that there's probably a more complex issue now even than the Fire Station, erm, ... the figures which are given incidentally are the original estimate there, because that was what was available to us at the time.
[84] They have now been varied slightly but they make very little difference.
[85] A question that's already been asked of me, on appendix C, up at employee at [...] the largest single figure there is a hundred and thirty seven thousand eight hundred.
[86] That's not a way of fudging some other cost, the retained fire fighters are recompensed when we provide training for them, because they normally have to lose work or whatever.
[87] They are very, very expensive to train because of that.
[88] We train whole-time fire fighters cheaply, but we pay the retained people compensation for loss of earnings.
[89] That figure is the majority, the majority of that figure is compensation for loss of earnings.
[90] That's the trouble, you get cheap service from retained personnel, but they're incredibly expensive to train.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [91] But absolutely essential.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [92] That's the only time you pay loss of earnings?
George (PS3NV) [93] Yes [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [94] If they've taken off for a fire two days or something?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [95] They're going to get paid then.
George (PS3NV) [96] We pay them for attending fires.
[97] The only other time they're paid compensation for loss of earnings, is when they're sick as a result of an injury received on duty, you know Fire Brigade duty.
(PS3NS) [98] Well this recommendation's been moved, seconded?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [99] Yes ...
(PS3NS) [100] Five point eight, Emergency Planning ... Are you going to speak on it or not?
[101] The recommendation's here.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [102] [...] Chair, here.
(PS3NS) [103] We move
(PS3NW) [104] There is one thing, and I think I did take it with you, erm, Mr Chairman, I'm with the erm, I've forgotten what the question on, corporational liberties, the thing that is concentrating many of our minds quite some [...] , but the er, would, would the Chief Fire Officer like to?
(PS3NS) [105] Yes, well he s he did take it up with me as a, er, I mean you did take it up
(PS3NW) [106] I didn't complain, I didn't complain, I suggested it.
(PS3NS) [107] No, but what, what I'm, what I mean, what I said ... such as emergency services.
[108] Now the emergency services are police, fire, and erm, and ambulance.
[109] There's a fourth one actually, but everyone knows who they are
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
(PS3NS) [110] So those do cover the police.
[111] I mean, if the police and the ambulance service.
(PS3NW) [112] Could, could that just be underlined perhaps in, by rephrasing it slightly to emphasise that, because I, I think that
(PS3NS) [113] I think we all know what emergency services are
(PS3NW) [114] We, we know but
(PS3NS) [115] You don't, I see
(PS3NW) [116] we, we do, but there's no harm, in view of our knowledge and experiences just to put that phraseology in a little bit bolder.
[117] I, I, I, I think Mr Chairman what I, I think I explained to you what my concern was, that we have cases where there's a serious road accident, and erm, and the road is stopped, we have no real authority to turn traffic or divert traffic, but the, the police are the only ones that can, and if we want to get down in, in, into an emergency very quickly.
[118] I, I mean it's only by the good will of the police that we can get down there and that, [...] , this is, this is my concern Mr Chairman, in, in theory what I would like, if there was a serious emergency, you'd get a senior officer in here straight away, and I mean he would negate to the police, we have no authority over them, only cooperate with the police.
[119] And that's my concern.
(PS3NS) [120] Well I, I
(PS3NW) [121] I, I, I mean they're, you, you, I mean they're very good, but they do, er a lot are imperfect, a law unto.
[122] Oh, oh, I think all it wants is that paragraph rephrasing and with more strongly emphasis but, on the lines on with that.
[123] That's all I think Chairman, I don't suppose that er, you'll disagree with that will you?
(PS3NS) [124] Well I, I wouldn't disagree with it, but I, but I, the description is perfectly plain [reading] to ensure that effective arrangements are established from liaison between the various departments of the County Council and the appropriate organizations such as the emergency services [] .
[125] I know what the emergency service is, I'm sure everybody else does.
[126] There's a fourth one that keeps cropping up on television but I mean we don't take that into consideration.
[127] But it's just police, fire and ambulance services, those are the emergency services,
(PS3NW) [128] I can't see what, what the objection is to me making the paragraph stronger.
(PS3NS) [129] No and I can't see wh no well I, we made it, I'm not against making it stronger, but I can't understand why this suggestion has been made.
(PS3NW) [130] Well because of past experiences, Chairman, that's all.
[131] Let's make it strong I'm not criticising anybody, just make it stronger.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [132] Chairman, I, I, I'm really confused now, I mean they've, they've got me, they've got me talking about semantics here which is ridiculous.
[133] What we're talking about is the emergency services that sh that responds to the needs of those who are in difficulty or in distress.
[134] That's what we're doing and I can't see anything here that prevents er, total cooperation between A the police, B the ambulance service and C the fire services.
[135] I agree with you entirely.
[136] I think this is er, semantics, and simple nitpicking.
[137] The police have never, I mean the Fire Officer will tell me, has there ever been an occasion when the police have not cooperated with the Fire Service in an emergency situation?
George (PS3NV) [138] No
(PS3NS) [139] No, no there's always room for improvement in liaison [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
(PS3NW) [140] Come on we're talking about the job, the job description, really they're there to please, er, er, this is written by one, one man and er, or one woman, and we're just saying that the wording could be improved in that one little phraseology, that's all.
[141] On the job description.
(PS3NS) [142] It was put together by, it was put together by the Chief Fire Officer and the Chief Executive er, not just the Chief Fire Officer.
(PS3NW) [143] Right.
[144] I'm saying it could be improved, I'm sorry.
(PS3NS) [145] Yes Colonel.
(PS3NW) [146] Er, most officers would have accepted it and moved on to the next subject. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [147] Paragraph two was current solution to see the sort the place where the advertisers as widely as possible, presumably based on the job description [...] .
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [148] Here, there's no salaries attached to it at the moment.
[149] Erm, do we know how big the department's going to be, because that governs the salary?
[150] Where are we in relation to the sort of catch twenty two situation on this?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
George (PS3NV) [151] The, the salary is stated
(PS3NS) [152] I, I'd rather finish with the other question, or, or the [...] made by the Major in the press question, are you, do you want to follow up the, I mean, have a vote on this if you want to?
(PS3NW) [153] No
(PS3NS) [154] Or is, or do you think the wording is suitable, or do you not?
(PS3NW) [155] The wording's suitable.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [156] Yes
(PS3NS) [157] I, I, I'm dead easy, I mean really it's a bit pedantic being pathetic.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
(PS3NS) [158] Leave it as it is, leave it as it is
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [159] Leave as it is, and move on.
(PS3NS) [160] Right now,c yes sorry, well we'll go back now.
George (PS3NV) [161] The, the post is currently graded at P O five, not P O six.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [162] After the exclusion of the public.
[163] Can we discuss after the exclusion of the public.
[164] Thank you sir.
(PS3NS) [165] Yes
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [166] Clearly er, it's er, again in, in paragraph four, under future budget of er, the services is going to be critical, if you've seen the last couple of years that are defined in the [...] pay, and that's going to continue.
[167] As far as the short-term is concerned, er, part of the budget package in the current year, er, the retirement and the, the now proposal was to, to help up the side as regards that.
[168] Now it's referred in item one of the introductory paragraph, in the introduction about additional funding, and I just wonder where is the total for this additional funding?
[169] Is it from within the Public Protection Committee's overall budget, or is from elsewhere?
[170] If so, no.
(PS3NS) [171] Well if we're going to start to go into funding, I'd rather this went into ... the pink paper session, and that we have our Chief Executives down here to explain that situation.
[172] I don't want to discuss this in open committee.
[173] ... Agreed?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [174] Yes.
(PS3NS) [175] We'll put it as the last item. ...
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [176] You have the situation
(PS3NS) [177] Personnel, five, point one, sorry, five point one three ... is that right, so
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [178] Er, five point nine I think Chair.
(PS3NS) [179] Five point nine, optimistic, I'm getting terrible these days.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [180] Just a little bit optimistic, [...] straight through to that, [...]
(PS3NS) [181] Yes, avoiding, oh yes, yes, yes, sorry, sorry.
[182] Avoiding, now What Future for Local Emergency Planning, National Conference.
[183] Now, I'm, I might have been remiss on this, but we had to do this in a hurry, erm, to get names in, and, but it's been suggested by erm, the leader of the er, Conservative group on, on this Committee, that erm, a, a, member from each should, major group should go, and er, I'm quite, I'm quite inordinate, in favour of this, if we can get erm, bookings there now.
[184] I'm, you know
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [185] My feeling is Mr Chairman, it is an unpolitical er, erm, we're going
(PS3NS) [186] Oh yes, yes
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [187] into a new ground and, and er, I think it would be very useful if, if we
(PS3NS) [188] yes, yes, I'm quite happy, providing we can get the erm
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [189] Erm, I think I, yes Chairman, if, if, if you're prepared to attend that [...] if you're saying that [...]
(PS3NS) [190] [laughing] Providing that they're not all taken [] .
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [191] No well that's, that's impractical and all, but
(PS3NS) [192] You know it's, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [193] I don't know where it is.
(PS3NS) [194] Okay are you all agreed?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [195] Yes, agreed.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [196] Are you going?
[197] Who's on transport? [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [198] I don't believe this gentleman.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3NS) [199] We'll check, we'll find out before the end of the meeting.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [200] Thank you for our er,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [201] I've got a better one than those [laugh]
(PS3NS) [202] Five point one oh, annual inspection, am I right now?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [203] Yes, ten
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [204] We know that Mr Chairman.
(PS3NS) [205] Five point ten, yes.
[206] Erm, you're all aware of that?
[207] Five point eleven, Fire Safety Week, well that's gone past.
[208] It's quite useful
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [209] We played on a different part
(PS3NS) [210] Five point one, twelve, Brigade Festival at Cowes, an absolutely superb evening in my opinion, but somebody said it was bloody awful.
[211] Er,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [212] Well I think it was a marvellous evening.
(PS3NS) [213] I think it was [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [214] I can think of one c comment Chairman.
[215] The, they ran out of er, of carol sheets.
(PS3NS) [216] We didn't expect c
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [217] It,i I had the initiative in getting a prayer book, er, er, a hymn book from the back which er, after some concentration with the index or something, to er
George (PS3NV) [218] If you would pardon me on the sheet [...] , it's a shame Mr 's not here, because that was his decision, because of the imposed cut in stationery from last year, we ran out of it
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [219] Come on, come on [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [220] Good for him.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [221] [laugh] So he was sulking in a corner was he?
[222] Yes.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3NS) [223] Another criticism that I had was that it was far, far too elaborate and expensive programme, I thought it was a very cheap one.
George (PS3NV) [224] We printed it ourselves,
(PS3NS) [225] Yes, yes
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [226] The first one, was
(PS3NS) [227] Yes, yes, Councillor .
(J3TPS000) [228] In spite of a lack of er, sort of er, carol sheets for, for some of us, it really was, as you say, a very enjoyable evening, and I was particularly erm, keen on the, the introduction of Saint Nicolas, and it certainly got smaller children, I think it was er, fantastic, and I certainly haven't enjoyed [...] so er, I'll be back [...]
(PS3NS) [229] We diddled them out of er, Christmas presents which, which surprised me.
[230] But some of the children there erm, somebody must have been [laughing] very, very, optimistic [] because we put a lot, a lot of presents in there, but anyway I think it was a superb night, and, and, and the meeting of er, to get together in the fire station afterwards, quite, in the Price Room was very good.
[231] Okay.
[232] Five point one three, five thirteen, Fire Brigade Long Service and Public Medals Ceremony.
[233] Once again a very enjoyable evening, erm, I pushed into something that er, I don't think she really wanted to do initially, but she thoroughly enjoyed it at the end.
Jennifer (PS3NT) [234] Chairman, she did it er, erm, very nicely, [...] from the local [...]
(PS3NS) [235] That's right, that's right.
Jennifer (PS3NT) [236] The ladies concerned I think were very pleased er, erm, I do I think it's a very good idea, erm, to give a wife's medal and er, with all the medals, and we ought to provide money for them the amount of waiting about they have to do
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [237] A very good evening.
Jennifer (PS3NT) [238] and they never know when [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [239] Yes.
Jennifer (PS3NT) [240] It was a nice, nice gesture.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [241] A well organized evening.
(PS3NS) [242] And where the beer did agree eventually, I mean under slight pressure.
[243] [laugh] There's a photograph of her, [...] and I'm quite sure we can give Joan to give to Vera one of those.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [244] Yes, yes thank you.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [245] I, I would like to see erm, I don't know whether this is done, but erm, when the official photographs are taken, they're done by erm, newspaper area, so that you get of the Lord Lieutenant, the Chief Officer, and the, the man from that area, and that is sent to the local paper, whether, ah
George (PS3NV) [246] [...] in fact the local paper actually took photographs on that basis, and they grouped them by [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [247] Yes, but erm, but Chairman, er, I don't think I should come up and make myself clear, some local papers were not represented there.
[248] Could they in future be sent?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [249] Could the photograph, the fire, the fire fighter probably won't think of it, could, could we think it for him, or her.
(PS3NS) [250] Yes, we're lucky with the photographer actually, he's not a fire fighter, er,
George (PS3NV) [251] He is now
(PS3NS) [252] He is now, okay.
[253] Er, five fourteen, paper L.
[254] Don has erm, been seconded to the Home Office for a period of two years.
[255] So I think we ought to congratulate him on that.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [256] Yes
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [257] Hear, hear.
(PS3NS) [258] And the other is the retirement of er, Divisional Officer .
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [259] Could we just
(PS3NS) [260] Twenty nine year service is a long time.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [261] can I be as could we be associated with that?
(PS3NS) [262] Oh yes, well I, this is a Committee I'm talking about, not, not just myself, the whole Committee.
[263] Erm, when I speak, I speak on behalf of the whole Committee.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [264] A letter will be written to both on that?
(PS3NS) [265] Yes, oh yes, yes.
[266] Okay.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [267] Chair, in respect of what erm, it's obviously it's er, good for the Authority that Mr is er, obviously [...] , but what will happen to his post, right away, and what, will there be someone employed to actually fill in, I know there will probably be some moving up er, [...] ?
George (PS3NV) [268] Yes, we're interviewing so we're interviewing on Friday for somebody to fill that post.
[269] On the dates that you've anticipated if Mr comes back by that time we'll be able to absorb the post, but it's likely that he may move on from this, because it's a fairly substantial move up.
[270] In his next, next work when he leaves here he's going to be the Fire Service [...] at the Houses of Parliament, and I'm serious, that will be one of his first major jobs.
[271] Not to mention things as trivial as Windsor Castle, and so forth.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [272] You don't sail that far down
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [273] Will they listen to him, I hope.
George (PS3NV) [274] You're next [...] authority.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [275] Chairman, he won't have to, it's like this, he won't have to worry as they did when the televisions which caused the last fire in the House of Commons, I mean, set fire to them and er, caused that one.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [276] It's quite er, it's quite a recommendation to de Brigade though isn't it Mr Chairman?
[277] And quite an honour to the brigade.
[278] Pardon?
George (PS3NV) [279] It's very prestigious, it's very prestigious.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [280] Yes, and I think I thought of a personal note that, because we do get some good, good appointments.
[281] As bad as we are.
(PS3NS) [282] Okay we'll move on.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [283] No, I, I, I think, it is well done.
(PS3NS) [284] Six, Quarterly Report of Chief Trading Standards erm, paper marked M.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [285] Yes
(PS3NS) [286] Do you want to s enlarge on it Mr [...] ?
[287] No
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [288] No, no
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [289] No you're alright Chairman.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [290] Can we note this Mr Chairman?
(PS3NS) [291] There's quite a lot of useful information in here.
[292] I hope you've all read it.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [293] Yes
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [294] I have, item, paragraph one, Mr Chairman, is right to do with the work that has to be done.
(PS3NS) [295] Pardon?
[296] Pardon?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [297] Item one on M, Mr Chairman, the right of you with the amount of work that has to be done, and the amount of they're asked for
(PS3NS) [298] Oh yes, yes okay.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [299] in growing demand or ...
(PS3NS) [300] Six point two, deregulation.
Dave (PS3NU) [301] Chairman, if I could just er, erm, some words that aren't included in this pa paper, I understand that the Deregulation Bill is published on the eighteenth ... erm, and presented to Parliament for the first reading, erm, it's still far from clear what's going to be said in it, but erm, it's still widely expected that in fact, on major contentious issues will in fact be the suggestion that sections of Acts of Parliament will, could be revealed by ministerial order rather than go through the parliamentary process again.
[302] So it's an important issue er, of principle.
[303] The aspect to it is, as I've made clear in, in the, the report I hope,th they'd want to treat each erm, one that comes out of government on it's me merits.
[304] Er, I make the point I think that, erm, we should oppose the er, Deregulation Bill if it's based on providing deregulation by Ministers, because I think that's a constitutional point that is of great import, but the, the rest of it erm, are really sets of principles that I hope you'd agree to, subject to amen amendment and dis discussion, because the information that we got is that the consultation period is going to be very tight indeed, and that it might not be able to go through the normal committee procedures in order to put things through erm, with er, proposals in that, er, in that respect.
[305] If they're relatively technical, then I, then I'd be grateful if they can be left to the officers, but obviously if there's anything that erm, is political in anyway, big P or small P, then at least we can get in touch with the er, P A G, and if necessary call a meeting in respect Chair.
[306] But things are going to move on apace, and we need to, a set of principles the officers can work to, and I've put these down as a broad list, erm, for your consideration.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [307] I propose that Mr Chairman.
(PS3NS) [308] All in agreement,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [309] Yes
(PS3NS) [310] to the recommendations.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [311] Yes
(PS3NS) [312] Paper O,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [313] That's purely for information Chairman.
(PS3NS) [314] Paper P, genetically modified foods.
[315] I think the case is here is that er ... could have serious effects.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [316] That, er, Chairman, if I could say the thing that bothers me here is that, it always has done about food, is that we should be keeping up to date with information, all these decisions and all this advice.
[317] That seems to me a basic requirement of er, of all the sale of food.
[318] Er, it's been coming in gradually over the years, but there's been an awful lot of, of er, resistance by some manufacturers on what they say on their labels, and what they say about what they're selling us, and er, if they're gonna do this, and I'm getting a, a slight suspicion, and I think Mr is, that, that it's got to be done eventually, and we, we have to be able, as a buying public, to understand exactly what we're buying before we actually get it home.
[319] A chance to read, and be informed as to what we're buying when we buy it.
Dave (PS3NU) [320] Chairman, it's always been this Committee's policy over the twenty years, the twenty odd years that I've been here, back here ru runner, that erm, so far as the food side is concerned, er, we should be, our policy should be based on the information, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and letting people make up their own minds.
[321] It's not been for us to tell people what they should or shouldn't eat or do anything with, because the, in, in one respect that's a nann nannying attitude from er, whether it's the legislators saying we're not going to approve the right legislation so that you have that information, but on the other hand by manufacturers and others saying you trust us.
[322] Well, in the cases we've taken over the odd twenty years against some of the biggest companies in the world indicate that that isn't the er, position.
[323] So, as far as the, the erm, erm, [...] report is concerned er, if I've got to make a recommendation, because obviously people have got different views on this one, it would be in fact that we go for total er, information so that people can make up their own minds, and if, and it might be wrong, but they can exercise their own prejudices.
[324] And if they want to exercise those prejudices that's a matter for them.
[325] Erm, so that, that's the line that er, from a personal point of view I would erm, I would take, but I would obviously want members' views on that one.
[326] The other one, could I just correct something on the last line of er, comment at the bottom of the, bottom of page two.
[327] It says stock lives, it should be stock lines.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [328] But they are also trying to include the stock live aren't they, in some cases?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [329] Not their lives,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [330] No, it talks about the life as it's lying in store for instance.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [331] Yes, oh yes, yes indeed.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [332] Yes
(PS3NS) [333] Anybody wish to speak or are you, do you accept the recommendations?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [334] A question if I may?
[335] In the er, appendix attached
(PS3NS) [336] Yes
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [337] er, there's talk about the er, government waiting for the recommendations from the Food Advisory Committee, when are they due?
Dave (PS3NU) [338] It's come out too, Chairman, that erm, there's been an, they dis they discussed that the minutes came out, and erm, what the Committee decided shortly was, the Committee felt strongly that, if the criteria for labelling were met, the requirement for labelling declaration should be a statutory one.
[339] They did not consider that this could be satisfactorily achieved by other means, such as non-statutory guid such as non-statutory guidelines.
[340] Er, based on the evidence which the public consultation produced the Committee considered that the primary concern of consumers was to be able to identify when a gene likely to be a cause of concern to a significant proportion of the population was present in foodstuff.
[341] This was reflected in the criteria which the Committee recommended should trigger a labelling declaration.
[342] As far as the form of labelling was concerned they believed that what was required was a simple declaration such as contains copies of X genes, in single ingredient foods and foods sold loose, they believe a declaration should form part of or accompanying the name under which food is offered for sale.
[343] For pre-packed foods which contain ingredients that contain copied genes, it recommended that a statement should be required to accompany the name of the ingredient in a list of ingredients.
[344] If a copied gene is present in an ingredient which was under current rules, it did not need to be listed, the declaration about its presence should nevertheless be made either in the ingredients list or next to the name of the er, food [] .
[345] And they went on then to consider lack of understanding of consumers about G M technology as a whole, and made recommendations for erm, er, better labelling, and for a erm, information campaign to be launched as well.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [346] But they didn't actually recommend that it should be statutory labelling [...]
Dave (PS3NU) [347] Yes.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
Dave (PS3NU) [348] The point I'd make, is that the difficulty of enforcement, in that respect.
[349] It's, it's one thing legislating, it's a completely different ball game when you are, erm, trying to enfor enforce it, and especially when you're trying to enforce it with ingredients imported from abroad.
[350] Well, when I say abroad, I mean from the E C as well.
[351] Erm, you can look after your own factories in this country, and you source ingredients, but you won't be able to do that for anything coming ov coming overseas.
[352] And the major manufacturers erm, there is a major trade in ingredients, between the multi-nationals as they pass things across.
[353] So the theory might not well work out in prac practice.
[354] But I honestly can't come up with any solution in that respect, because er, until you've got er multi-national enforcement agencies which no politician is going to agree to, erm, you're not going to solve the pro pro problem there.
[355] And if they think that it suits them to shift a factory to the Philippines because there won't be an inspection there, that's what they'll do.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [356] Can you note this Mr Chairman?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [357] That's depressing isn't it really?
(PS3NS) [358] Very, but there you go.
[359] That's life, but we do what we can.
[360] And it's a statutory obligation in this country and that's really what you know.
[361] Because we can't just accept that, that manufacturers will look after it for us, because as you've, already said by the Chief, they'll move the factory where it
Dave (PS3NU) [362] I mean, you can even get a situation Chairman, where you'll get some of the big multiples will tell a, will agree specifications with a food manufacturer, but they're not going to be able to check on the ingredients, so even though the, the, the Sainsburys and the Marks and Spencers of this world say we don't want any er,gen genetically modified ingredients going into anything that we're going to buy, there's no way that they can guarantee that before we've even bought any.
(PS3NS) [363] Having said that, do we accept the recommendations in this report?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [364] Yes
(PS3NS) [365] Authorizations for legal proceeding.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [366] Proposed.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [367] Agreed.
(PS3NS) [368] Registration of births ... deaths and marriages.
[369] It's for you Mr [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [370] Nothing to add, er, if members have any questions I'll be happy to answer them.
(PS3NS) [371] Noted?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
(PS3NS) [372] Charity Youth Committee, marked S.
[373] ... Do we have a member er, from that Committee?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [374] Yes Chairman, I am following in Major 's shoes, I don't reckon I know a great deal about it yet, and I'm not sure that this erm, er, advisory er, committee is yet actually on the go, but I will go into this.
[375] The stumbling block here does seem to be the inability of the Charity Commissioners themselves to keep up with the volume of work.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [376] Er, I am, Mr Chairman, I support that fully, because if you write to them it's six months before they'll reply.
[377] And you're wondering, I mean I don't think we can expect [...] of the advice of charities now, or very little, you know, and, and they've got to be very, very careful
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [378] I was meeting the Commissioners
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [379] Pardon?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [380] I was leaving the Commissioners out as far as I could.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [381] Yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [382] It's a very meagre budget Chairman I should think we're getting off very lightly.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [383] Yes
(PS3NS) [384] [...] .
[385] Item nine, motion evenings and Saturday meetings.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [386] I propose that we retain the status quo Chairman.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [387] I'll second that
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [388] I second that [laugh]
(PS3NS) [389] Are you all in favour of that?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [390] Yes
(PS3NS) [391] West Mercia Police Authority, Paper C, now you received this late ...
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [392] I'd be pleased to answer questions Chairman, and I'm sure Mr will help, help me deal with the budget crisis.
(PS3NS) [393] And I shall endeavour to [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [394] Well that's all you've got in front of you at the moment, isn't it, the budget Chairman?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [395] You have other things as well.
(PS3NS) [396] Are there any questions?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [397] Pardon?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [398] Are there any questions, I'm asking, yes, I'm waiting for questions.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [399] Can I make an observation Mr Chairman, will you take observations as well?
(PS3NS) [400] Yes, I'll take observat why, wait a minute.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [401] Yes, erm, on paragraph three erm, the, the last sentence erm, where it says [reading] without direct access to its own balances, the authority may therefore have to make revised precept in ninety four, ninety five [] erm, I understand what's being said there, but any organization needs to actually work within er, a clearly defined budget.
[402] Er, the Police Authority last year I think actually had to have an extra nine hundred thousand pounds of spending, the budget was funded by the constituent's authorities, erm, and we've already for next year in fact, made available effectively six hundred thousand pounds worth of extra spending by erm, various means, so I would hope that erm, the authority does use as, as much prudence and restraint in its financial affairs as possible, because of the, the effects on all, all concerned.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [403] Yes, Chairman, can I say that erm, when the b the budget's in the process of formulation and we're discussing the question of balances and reserves and how they should be marked for the immediate future, particularly in regard to the way that er, reorganization may take place at police authorities in the very near future, and also those of us who are on this, on, on other committees who've had experience in, and the same sort of thing happening in further education for instance, where immediately the assets, before even the regulations were put on the table, the assets of all these things were, all these er, erm,coll the further education colleges were frozen so we couldn't do anything with them at all as an Authority, and er, actually [...] many of them were taken from us without er, without any question at all .
[404] So in the light of that it's per now is a good opportunity to er, make sure that those reserves and balances were available for A, the er, Police Authority should it require it, but B, to those constituent authorities who had helped in the er, build-up of these reserves.
[405] Now, what's being said here in that particular sentence, is that there are obviously going to be, or possibly could be occasions when er, the Police Authority has er, an overspend, which is an immediate problem for instance, on pensions, and you've heard the er, Fire Service Chief talking about his problems.
[406] They're just the same with the police force, there could be er, er, an increase in police pay, [...] or there could be any, a very large incident which would require planning, if these happen then it has always been the case, if there wasn't the money available then a precept could be put upon us as a [...] local authorities to er, cover that erm, directly.
[407] That's no different to what the situation is now, it was there before, the difference is that the banker is different.
[408] The banker is not the reserves of the Police Authority, because that has now been transferred to the authority.
[409] I should tell you that er, the budget really represents er, an increase in the availability of police resources over the previous years.
[410] I'm delighted with that, the budget came out er, much better than I'd hoped it would do, and er, and I, I am sure that we shall see some improvement in the police er, over the next year.
[411] Of course there is, there is the possibility, there is definitely going to be a reorganization, we shan't have the same sort of input I don't think, we shan't be allowed to have the same sort of input in a totally undemocratic er, er, authority that's going to be there where the, the governments will er, put er, most of the people on board, where the Home Secretary will decide on the Chairman, er, we don't know what the government regulations are going to say about balances in terms for the new authority.
[412] Er, if they say that er, they should be er, a balance or reserve put in by constituent authorities then we will have the money available to do that, if we didn't then they may have frozen the reserves that are already there and asked us to put some more money in as well.
[413] I find that is the situation that I've tried to er, guard against with the budget that we've been put in on this occasion, and I hope that answers er, er, Mr but er, I'll answer any other questions that are put up.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [414] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [415] Could I say Chairman, [...] in Worcester and Shropshire are in agreement with this budget and er, which has been engineered to a great deal by the Chairman of the Budget [...] and er, we're here to,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
(PS3NS) [416] Yes
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [417] I don't, I don't mind worked out, but engineered gives a very [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [418] Regarding paragraph nine Chairman, no doubt you, you would tell us if there's been a response on this, because this does seem a useless step forward er, to increase the number of people at the coalface as it were, and self-financing, and no doubt we shall hear in due course about this.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [419] The Authority are pushing as much as they can on the scheme and there's been no response to yesterday.
(PS3NS) [420] It's a crazy situation, because when Clarke was the Home Secretary, and he made a, a speech in parliament, we adjourned a meeting of the Authority to listen to him speaking, now we'd already made applications er, to increase the number complete officers by the, getting rid of the superintendents, and Clarke came out with what we'd said, yes, do that, but the Home Office are still saying no you can't.
[421] Er, I mean [...] the whole lot separately,
Dave (PS3NU) [422] Yes, yes,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [423] I mean it's crazy.
Dave (PS3NU) [424] if I can comment on that Chairman, the erm, the Authority asked for thirty for next month, along with all the other authorities I think in the country, asked for an improvement in the, in the policing the country, and I think people that live in, in Shropshire, and the people that live in other er, parts of the country as well, would have welcomed the increase in the police force this year, but the government decided not to do that.
[425] We, we then had this situation where the, er, the Chief Constable ha went to great lengths to er, work out a new establishment for himself, and the senior management, and actually ach chi and er, and preempted it and then asked the er, the Home Office if he could use the money to increase the constables on the beat.
[426] We are still waiting for them to agree or not to that.
[427] The feeling at the moment is that they are sympathetic towards us, and they don't see any difficulty in that as yet, but no one is prepared to put their hand up and say yes go ahead and spend the money in that way.
[428] But the money is in the budget Chairman, I want to make that quite clear, the money is here in, in the West Mercia Police budget to be able to provide sixteen extra policemen immediately.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [429] Police Officers.
Dave (PS3NU) [430] Policemen immediately that that is given to us by the Home Office.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [431] I hope the Authority unanimously do support it.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [432] Yes, I think Chairman, you ought to ask your Committee to note paragraph six, I think that's quite important and worthy of note. ...
(PS3NS) [433] Because we employ a lot of [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [434] Can I record we've received this here Mr Chairman?
(PS3NS) [435] Move the reports received?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [436] Yes.
(PS3NS) [437] Now it is recommended that we in section nine and four A, in brackets four, someone move. ... [tape turned off]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [438] Chairman, can he just report to us?
(PS3NS) [439] Right,
Dave (PS3NU) [440] Chairman, if we can just go through this briefly.
[441] Erm, number thirty six.
[442] Erm, it contains access to four, five and they'll be submitted after discussion at this particular Committee, to Policy Planning or the Policy Resources Committee.
[443] As we've made perfectly clear in the last discussion we've just had, no final decisions on the implementation of any variations will be taken until Council meets on the twenty fifth of February.
[444] This booklet was distributed just before [...] met, so in fact er, paragraph two does say at the moment that in our new recommended [...] programme there isn't, well in fact they did agree those recommendations.
[445] In addition though, and we come on to them in a second, it asks for further reductions to be added to that if possible.
[446] But the provisional guid the guideline which was set by Policy and Resources in the first instance, was just for this Committee to identify seventy thousand pounds' worth of reductions.
[447] Those reductions were those identified in paragraph three and perhaps I do need to point out in fact that according to the report in Policy and Resources Committee, the use of carry forwards from the registration service of twenty thousand pounds in fact needs to be replicated across all three years.
[448] Now quite clearly that has er, implications on the registration service and believe the County Secretary will talk about that at some future point.
[449] Erm, paragraph four erm, outlines ... there is a [...] gap after these new guidelines of six hundred and seventy one thousand, and to bridge that gap, the P and R asked that er, the Fire and Rescue Service identify a hundred thousand pounds of sur of reductions from its budget.
[450] The audition which is the additional item includes moves at Policy and Resources Committee that they asked all committees to expose further reductions if possible to help close this gap of six hundred and seventy one thousand pounds.
[451] Just find it on the kind of introduction.
[452] The other guideline which was issued was namely that of capital, where the a accepted the general guidelines which appeared in the county papers and as far as this Committee was concerned, would mean the general acceptance of all those items which appear in that the first year of that capital programme, subject to the proviso that the revenue contemplated and the benefits of the capital programme will be considered by Policy Panel in its forthcoming meeting.
[453] As far as the introduction is concerned I have nothing more to say.
[454] I am, unless there are any questions, can we not then five, move on to number five?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [455] Er, one question if I may Chair?
[456] Erm, I note that on paper R earlier, we er, approved the recommendation to ask Resources Management sub-committee to approve the release of three thousand of registration service carry forward monies, and we're now being asked to approve our budget next year, which er, also reduces twenty thousand for registration service.
[457] Can we be told please exactly what the er, balancing hand of carry forwards shown on the right estimates, the twenty three thousand consists of?
[458] Are they, what, what are those are registration services?
Dave (PS3NU) [459] That, the thirty three thousand includes twenty three thousand of the registration services carry forwards, but it does not take into account the three thousand which have just been requested here.
[460] So that would reduce it down to twenty.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [461] I just want to make sure we have the money now.
Dave (PS3NU) [462] If you, if you like, I could speak now Chair?
(PS3NS) [463] Yes
Dave (PS3NU) [464] Er, naturally we're disappointed you're proposing to take er, twenty thousand of our twenty three thousand carry forwards in the registration service.
[465] The problem is as Mr has said, if that is expected to be replicated across future years, this would represent a ten percent reduction in the statutory service, er, which is only partly under control of this Committee, with mixed responsibilities with the Registrar General.
[466] Seventy percent of the expenditure is on staff who you do not employ and cannot dismiss, a large part of the income, or all the income is through the fees that are set na nationally by the government.
[467] You have very little room for manoeuvre within this service, and the Registrar General has reserve powers to impose services on you, and I would have to advice you it would be virtually, or I would have to say it would be impossible to achieve that ongoing reduction in future years.
[468] ... Erm, does the Chair wish er, me to reach section by section, or do you wish to take the bookings as they are Chairman?
(PS3NS) [469] Well I think we've got to take it section by section.
Dave (PS3NU) [470] In that case the, the white page which isn't numbered at the back of page three, is the revised estimate, and shows the variations as outlined there.
[471] Erm, the only variations which are actually going outside the Committee control are as a result of the internal market variations which are going on down [...] .
[472] Plus of course the growth in the Firemen's Pension Scheme of thirty one thousand in the current financial year, rising in future years.
[473] Otherwise the Committee services are containing their budgets within original cash limits.
[474] ... If there are no questions on the revised estimates Chair, then the, the base budget for ninety three, ninety four are those outlined on the green pages, identified it certain service by service.
[475] It's on these figures which in effect any Committee reductions will be made.
[476] I have nothing further to say on the green pages.
[477] Do members have any questions?
[478] ... Okay, does anybody
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [479] Before, before you go on, you say that the twenty thousand can't be rep replicated in income registration column, does that show, how would show in here then?
Dave (PS3NU) [480] It doesn't show, it doesn't show in here, no.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [481] If the registration service was erm, asked to ma to reduce its budgets for ninety four, five and future years, by twenty thousand, it could do it in to three, four, five because it would bring forward twenty thousand pounds worth of carry forwards.
[482] However in five, six, its net expenditure would reduce to erm, two hundred and twelve thousand pounds.
[483] And from what County Secretary's just said, we would be unable to identify reductions in statutory service to live within that cash and
Dave (PS3NU) [484] The salmon pages then Chair, are those items which have been put forward to achieve the guidelines set by Policy and Resources Committee.
[485] In additions, I would remind members of the request from Policy and Resources to try and identify wherever possible further savings, in aid of the six hundred and seventy one thousand pound gap which currently exists between budget proposals and the expected figures. ...
(PS3NS) [486] Any, yes Mr
(PS3NS) [487] A couple of comments on that Chair, the first one, on the reduction in carry forwards, my understanding is that, in fact it's quite amusing in some ways, because this, this is something I was accused of as Chair of Resources Management during my year.
[488] Er, what in fact this Committee is doing, is saying that at one of the sections that makes up part of it, you happen to have carry forwards spare from last year, therefore use them because we can't identify anything else in budget savings for this, next year.
[489] Erm, that isn't necessarily the same as saying by the way your section will have to repeat that saving in future years.
[490] I think it's quite legitimate for this Committee to take that twenty thousand because it's there, and to say to itself, post budget we will have to look at the whole of the areas covered by budget protection to find the replicated twenty thousands in future years, and not just expect it to come from registration.
[491] Erm, from the comments from the table that seems to be generally agreed.
[492] Yet the point, it's a question really, which refers back to the last programme summary three, of the, the ninety four, ninety five base budget.
[493] Within that we're, we identified a gross expenditure and a gross income across all areas of the Committee's work.
[494] Now clearly some of those are, are outside our direct control.
[495] Nevertheless there's five hundred and fourteen thousand as our income that the Fire and Rescue Service, the Fire Training Unit, from the Trading Standards Department, and from Emergency Planning.
[496] My question is, has the P A G looked at any ways of increasing any of that income to any degree at all?
[497] And if so, what were their findings?
(PS3NS) [498] We have reviewed charges on, and the Fire Service, erm, in the past, and, and we've increased certain [clears throat] erm, but we didn't see any way we could, we could increase any more at that time.
Dave (PS3NU) [499] So far as Trading Standards is concerned Chairman, the major income are weights and measures testing fees and they are set down by LACOTS, that's Local Authority Courts on Trad on Trading Standards on er, an agreed scale, so we charge exactly the same as other authorities, for the same, for the same work, and we increase the fees every year, er, in line with erm, the recommendation.
[500] Er, the amount that we get, get in depends on erm, the amounts of trade and industry.
[501] We've done relatively well in the past couple of years because we've had a lot of petrol pumps, because of the new, the opening of the big supermar the, the supermarkets where there's thirty, forty pumps go going, we make a fair bit of money in that way.
[502] But you can't guarantee that, er, and once the supermarket developments er, have gone, then you'll drop off down, down again, and again you're affected by the rece recession, whereas people won't replace things like weighbridges, er, automatic weighing machines that sort of thing during the recession, if you come out of recession, then you might get, and you say you might get some increase in fees in that, that area.
[503] But those are always considered er, during the erm, er, revised estimates time in any way.
[504] The other one and that erm, the major source of income are court, court costs, and again that depends on the cases you're taking, it depends on the, on the amount awarded by er, magistrates.
[505] Over the years, we've taken the risk to increase the court's costs, erm, where we've got agreed pro er, principles, and we've b we've been able to go to the courts and they've agreed with us, for instance, standard fees for overloaded vehicle cases, we charge seventy pounds a time.
[506] Er, and the courts by and large agree to erm, give us the seventy pounds out ev every time, but even so, even if we get the award of the costs, then the difficulty is, is, is in getting those costs in.
[507] Erm, it's up to the magistrate's clerk and sometimes the first ... [tape change]
George (PS3NV) [508] So it's in the Fire Service that we've actually got time posted, and in fact most of the things that we wish to charge for we're actually statutorily prohibited from doing.
[509] Things like false alarm calls and so on, have been through the courts and we've been stopped from doing that.
[510] We charge the highest rate in the country for issuing fire certificates which is one of the few things which we're actually allowed to charge, and we charge more than virtually any other authority in this country.
[511] The trouble about that is, it's now enforced upon us and that's official target, we have to set priority of fire certificates because we need the money, bluntly, otherwise we have to find it elsewhere, so we give them a priority that they wouldn't otherwise have.
[512] Er, in terms of training, commercial training and it's not just the Fire and Rescue Service ... I spoke recently with the Chief Ambulance Officer, who's experiencing the same problems.
[513] Training's the first thing that goes, in a recession, that's the first thing that people cut, and not only, well we are achieving the fixed amount of income that we're obliged to in order to make previous reductions, but we're certainly not covering costs.
[514] So what you're effectively doing at the moment is subsidizing the private commercial sector.
[515] Erm, everything else we've looked at, there are either statutory problems or other problems that prevent us from charging.
[516] So it's, if further income generation is limited, it's through external circumstances rather than any internal increases.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [517] So we've really, we've really no alternative but to accept the hostage three, one to three on the reductions.
[518] It's best as I see it.
(PS3NS) [519] Erm, salmon paper.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [520] We, we've got not alternative, did you say?
[521] Well I, I think that that's exactly what the Committee was saying to the Minister there.
(PS3NS) [522] No, no.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [523] We, we, I thought were all saying that we felt that these reductions were actually unacceptable, or totally un almost unacceptable.
[524] Erm, there's not a word that's suitable to use actually in this case [laughing] because we find that they would actually impact upon the service in a serious manner [] and therefore we don't,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [525] Well put it this way, if we were compelled to find the savings they ask, that is the only way we could do it.
Dave (PS3NU) [526] That's right, we need to put that rider on, that, that we would hope that, obviously [...] would look favourably at er, erm, removing these restrictions on our service if at all possible.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [527] It's only specific in item two.
(PS3NS) [528] Specifically in item two, yes, sorry.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [529] Yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [530] Chair, Sorry, one and three I, I, I think that we've, I, I certainly couldn't accept.
(PS3NS) [531] We've got to accept the implication of, of item three though, in future years.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [532] I think, I think Council is accepting this but I think it's
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [533] You're changing battle ground there Mr Chairman, to be honest.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [534] I think what Mr has said, is quite right, is that this is a carry forward for this year, and er, we've, we're clobbering it taking it up really is what we're saying.
[535] So what he's saying we've got to discount it
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [536] So what he's saying is [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [537] Next year we wouldn't have a, erm, look and see whether that twenty thousand is coming from the local authority, it's not necessarily in that particular money [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [538] It's not our [...] calls
(PS3NS) [539] So what we're saying, or in item, well the last item, implication of further service reduction, with that twenty thousand pound on Fire and Rescue Service will be applicable for this year only?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [540] We've said that will be acceptable in P A G Chairman?
Jennifer (PS3NT) [541] It's not acceptable, it's not acceptable Chairman, we agreed in the P A G, it wasn't acceptable.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [542] It's been spelt out.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [543] We threw that one out then.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [544] Mm, yes.
Jennifer (PS3NT) [545] No way.
(PS3NS) [546] But it's in, but it's in here isn't it?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [547] So we put a, as a rider on, that it had already passed the rider it says there, but we found it unacceptable at P A G.
Jennifer (PS3NT) [548] [...] for we're offering them [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [549] If it has to be found that's the only way.
[550] But to us it is unacceptable.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [551] Is the exception applied to two?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [552] Yes,
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [553] So we've got to in Trading Standards?
(PS3NS) [554] Yes, yes, yes.
Jennifer (PS3NT) [555] Trading Standards however important, and Trading Standards is very important, erm, when you're getting down to erm, reductions in equipment and uniforms and men, then lives are at risk, it is really a matter of er, er, of, of [...] for our fire fighters that they have the right equipment and the right uniform and when it actually comes down, you can't compare that to maybe reductions in Trading Standards.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [556] If, if I can support that Chairman, and what John said also.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [557] That's why we couldn't, when we talked about it earlier, use the same word unacceptable, on both item two under Fire Service reductions.
[558] Because the Fire and Rescue Service reductions are unacceptable, and I think this Committee should say to, and to leave that in its proposal to Policy Panel and P and R.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [559] What things?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [560] But when it comes to the Trading Standards Board, what we're saying is, if P and R and Policy Panel [...] this Committee finds seventy thousand pounds' worth of savings, then clearly item two represents a way of doing it.
[561] But it represents a way of doing it which is not what the members of this Committee, of all three parties I suspect, want to do.
[562] And we would therefore strongly urge them to consider that, and not to take that saving unless it was sort of necessary.
(PS3NS) [563] Okay.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [564] Sounds reasonable to me.
(PS3NS) [565] Are you all in favour of that then?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [566] Yes, as long as this possibly isn't [...] major [...] that we do not agree on?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [567] Well the Chairman [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [568] Are we?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...]
(PS3NS) [569] So we're all in favour?
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [570] Yes
(PS3NS) [571] Right.
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [572] Capital programme Chair, is that outlined in erm, on the pink pages, if members have any comments to put to David [...]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [...] ... [sound of an watch alarm]
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [573] Aha
Unknown speaker (J3TPSUNK) [laugh]
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