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To approve, and sign as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 7 February 2018 (Item 2)
That the Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held on Wednesday 7 February 2018, be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider excluding the public and press representatives from the meeting by virtue of Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as the minutes contains information relating to an individual; and Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as the minutes contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of a person; and on these grounds it is considered the need to keep information exempt outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information:
That the Exempt Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held on Wednesday 7 February 2018, be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider Item 5
The Deputy Director of Finance and Assets advised Members that the purpose of the report was to establish a Reserves Strategy for the Authority. This was a requirement of the new draft Fire and Rescue National Framework for England. Paragraph 5.7 stated that ‘Each Fire and Rescue Authority should publish their reserves strategy on their website, either as part of their medium term financial plan or in a separate reserves strategy document.’ The Reserves Strategy should set out the level of reserves and what the Authority planned to do with them.
The Deputy Director of Finance and Assets advised Members that in order to assess the adequacy of unallocated general reserves when setting the budget, account was taken of the strategic, operational and financial risks facing the Authority. The current and future planned level of each reserve included a reallocation between reserves that Members were asked to approve (Recommendation 2). The reallocation would increase the level of capital reserves available for future expenditure, as it was anticipated that significant expenditure would be required in the south of the county over the medium term, in order to support the delivery of the Public Safety Plan.
A Member asked if the budget assumptions ‘the treatment of demand led pressures’ and ‘the availability of reserves, government grants and other funds to deal with major contingencies and the adequacy of provisions’ were based on any past records and was advised that it was prudent and based on what the worst case scenario could be.
A Member was concerned that the ‘Redundancy and Early Retirement Reserve’ had no forecast in the medium term, and was advised that based on past experience, the reserve had not been used in recent years, so it seemed overly prudent to keep it.
To consider Item 6
The Lead Member for People and Equality and Diversity introduced the report and advised Members that the gender pay gap showed the difference between the average earnings of males and females.
The HR Services and Development Manager advised Members that the Equalities Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 that came into effect in 2017 required all public sector organisations employing over 250 staff to carry out gender pay gap reporting. The data must be reported by 30 March each year. The snapshot date for public sector employers was 31 March each year.
The HR Services and Development Manager advised Members that in accordance with the Regulations, the Authority was required to annually publish six pieces of prescribed data about the pay and bonuses of male and female workers with the organisation:
· mean gender pay gap in hourly pay;
· median gender pay gap in hourly pay;
· mean bonus gender pay gap;
· median gender pay gap;
· proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment;
· proportion of males and females in each pay quartile.
The HR Services and Development Manager advised Members that whilst there was no benchmarking data for year one, from year two onwards the Authority would have that data to give a better comparison of where it was against other fire and rescue services. The Action Plan in the report proposed what the Authority would do to reduce the pay gap.
Members requested that comparison data be brought back to the Committee as soon as practicable.
A Member asked why on the snapshot date of 31 March 2017 there were 16 employees missing due to not receiving their usual full pay within the pay period and was advised that there was a full list of criteria for those who wouldn’t have been considered eligible to receive their full pay on the snapshot date.
The Vice Chairman asked if the full list of criteria could be circulated to Members after the meeting.
1. That the content of the gender pay gap report be noted, which would be submitted to the government’s website (gov.uk) as per reporting requirement before 30 March 2018
It being proposed and seconded:
2. That the Action Plan for 2018/19 in the gender pay gap be amended prior to publication to include an additional action that a comparison data be obtained as soon as it was available.
Date of Next Meeting
To note that the next meeting of the Committee will be held on Wednesday 9 May 2018 at 10am.
The Committee noted that the date of the next Executive Committee meeting would be held on Wednesday 9 May 2018 at 10.00am.
THE CHAIRMAN CLOSED THE MEETING AT 10.43 AM.