Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, East Sussex County Council, St Anne's Crescent, Lewes

Contact: Abigail Blanshard  01323 462069 Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

In relation to matters on the agenda, seek declartions of interest from Members in accordance with the provisions of the Fire Authority’s Code of Conduct for Members.


There were none.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies had been received from Cllrs Earl-Williams, Hamilton, Peltzer Dunn and Tutt.


The Chairman welcomed Cllr Grimshaw who was attending as substitute for Cllr Hamilton.




Notification of items which the Chairman considers urgent and proposes to take at the end of the agenda/Chairman's business items

Any Members wishing to raise urgent items are asked, wherever possible, to notify the Chairman before the start of the meeting. In so doing they must state the special circumstances which they consider justify the matter being considered urgently.


There were none.


To consider any public questions


There were none.


To receive any petitions


There were none.




Members reserved the following items for debate:


7          Restricting Exit Payments in the Public Sector – Consultation on Draft Regulations


9          Sussex Control Centre Project & Future Mobilising Options – Progress Update




Restricting Exit Payments in the Public Sector - Consultation on Draft Regulations pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Report of Assistant Director HR, OD, Training & Assurance

Additional documents:


The Fire Authority received the report of the Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) informing them of the Government’s proposal to introduce a cap on exit payments in the public sector. A revised draft response to the current consultation on the regulations to implement the cap was circulated at the meeting. (Copy in Minute Book)


The Assistant Director HR, OD, Training & Assurance (ADHRODTA) explained that the consultation on this proposal closed at midnight on 3 July 2019.  The Authority were informed that the consultation did not include the level at which the cap would be set as this was already set in legislation.  She added that whilst the cap level was not included in the consultation, it was agreed that the consequences of capping too low were recognised.  The reasons why the cap was not supported were outlined within the report and additional commentary provided by the Deputy Monitoring Officer would be also included as well as any received from the Authority.


The Authority raised many concerns about the cap, including the potential effect on those who might need to retire early due to ill-health and the impact that the cap might have on both recruitment and retention of staff.


There was some question over whether the proposals now affected too many employees and not just those that were in receipt of the highest salaries, it was the opinion of the Authority that the cap had been set too low and that there were also some things that should not be included in it at all.  The Authority felt it essential that the response clearly addressed why the cap was thought inappropriate and that it should be more closely targeted and set at a much higher rate.


The ADHRODTA agreed that the response at Q1 would be expanded further to include more detail.  The Authority were informed by the CFO that there were some exemptions which would address those concerns regarding the ill-health and inability to perform duties, but there were concerns for those that were now expected to remain as active firefighters until 60 years old rather than the previous age of 50 and their options for early retirement.


The Authority were informed that this was a nationwide consultation and that responses had been submitted by many organisations including local authorities, the NFCC and Trade Unions.


It was generally felt that the introduction of a pay cap at this level was wrong and that the intention behind the original proposal had been forgotten, initially it was felt the aim had been to address large payments to higher earners. There were concerns that the attempt to make it apply to all was not appropriate.


The ADHRODTA thanked Members for their comments and agreed to update the draft response accordingly and to circulate to Members once submitted.


RESOLVED – That the Fire Authority:


       i.          noted the Government’s proposal to implement a Public Sector Exit Payment Cap; and


      ii.          agreed the proposed draft response to the consultation on the regulations to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider whether, in view of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, the press and public should be excluded from the remainder of the meeting on the grounds that, if the public and press were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.


NOTE: Any item appearing in the confidential part of the Agenda states the category under which the information disclosed in the report is confidential and therefore not available to the public.


RESOLVED – That item no. 9 be exempt under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 and accordingly is not open for public inspection on the following grounds: it contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).



Sussex Control Centre Project & Future Mobilising Options - Progress Update

Report of the Deputy Chief Fire Officer


Exempt category under paragraph 3 of the Local Government Act 1972