Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Communities and Place - Friday, 10th June, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Cumbria House Carlisle

Contact: Lorraine Davis  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.



An apology for absence was received from Mr R Dobson, Mr M Hawkins, Mrs M Rae, Mr K Hamilton and Mr W McEwan.




To note any changes in membership of the Board.



It was noted that Mr M Hawkins had replaced Ms K Lockney as a member of the Board.




Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises:-


1          Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.


2          Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses.  (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.


3          Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority


            (a)    Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and


            (b)    Which has not been fully discharged.


4          Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority. 


5          Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer. 


6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge).


            (a)    The landlord is the authority; and


            (b)    The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.


7          Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where


            (a)    That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the authority; and


            (b)    Either –


                     (i)         The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or


                     (ii)        If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.


In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.




A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).



There were no disclosures of interest at the meeting.




To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.



There were no items of business that required the exclusion of the press and public.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 10 March 2022 (copy enclosed).



RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meeting held on 10 March 2022 be agreed as an accurate record.



Fire Services Performance pdf icon PDF 314 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Fire Officer (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


Members received a report and a presentation which summarised the current approach to Learning Lessons within Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and Cumbria County Council, detailing integrated processes that were in place to identify lessons and providing several examples of how lessons identified had been reflected on and developed into good practice within Cumbria.


Members were informed that Integrated Emergency Management (IEM) was the cornerstone of Emergency Response in the United Kingdom and legislated for by a number of specific regulations. 


The Deputy Chief Fire Officer explained that at the heart of the preparedness and daily response was the principle of continuous improvement that identified learning through planning, training, exercising and real incidents.   A defined process of reflecting to identify and learn these lessons was outlined in the report, the JESIP doctrine Joint Decision model.  It was noted that this worked over both short timescales for operational decision making and debriefing over much longer timescales. Members noted that Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service have adopted the JESIP doctrine in all parts of the Service to assist in creating and maintaining a learning culture.  Debriefing policies for the Service and the multi-agency Cumbria Resilience Forum were published to ensure that all Major Incidents were debriefed.  


The Deputy Chief Fire Officer continued by outlining the very recent publishing of two reports, the Government’s BEIS Interim and Full Report and the Ofgem Report and actions arising from these for the Service and Council.


Members noted wider lessons that others have identified elsewhere in the UK and abroad as well as the lessons learned in Cumbria.  A live Action Plan Tracker was in place to incorporate lessons learned.


To conclude, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer informed members that significant process and effort was undertaken to ensure that the Service and the Council identify and learn lessons to protect those who both reside and visit Cumbria and to ensure continuous improvement remained at the heart of Cumbria Fire and Rescue, the Council and the collective Cumbrian emergency preparedness culture.


A member advised of attendance at a worthwhile emergency planning event, organised by the Fire Service.  The Resilience Manager informed members that a BAE emergency planning event would be held on 10 October 2022 and welcomed members’ attendance at this. 


The rising cost of fuel and living costs were discussed.  The officers outlined provisions put in place to combat this, maximising technology to avoid driving costs and increasing budget provision acknowledging the impact this would have.


Power outages, sometimes caused by fallen trees, broadband and water supply disruption that occurred in Storm Arwen were discussed.   The Resilience Manager advised that the newly published Ofgem report highlighted areas of improvement for energy companies.  Alternative energy sources and the technical advancement of these were discussed, with the Deputy Chief Fire Officer outlining the positives as well as some risks of these for the Service.  Members’ attention was drawn to a report published by Lancaster University “Addicted to Electricity”.


To conclude the Deputy Chief Fire Officer and the Resilience  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Highways Information Asset Management System pdf icon PDF 670 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed).



Members received a presentation giving an update on the Highways Information Asset Management System (HIAMS).  Members were informed that on 29 June 2022 HIAMS was launched with the aim of improving the way defects and enquires were triaged by increasing process efficiencies and automation.  The focus was on improving experience for staff and well as an improvement to satisfaction levels for customers, Members, Parish and Town Councillors.


The Area Highways and Transport Manager outlined the approach taken to project delivery and current workstreams and timeframes for implementation.  Members noted the Service’s front door approach, strongly encouraging the use of the new online reporting form or by telephoning the Highways Hotline and the benefits of this approach.   A highway report overview and requests for services from 29 June 2021 to 11 May 2022 were included in the presentation and current figures were verbally given to members at the meeting.  Members noted the positive feedback from customers. 


To conclude the Manager advised of agile development and next steps to be taken.


Members welcomed the improvements to the system and expressed thanks to the Highways Team for the work undertaken.  Discussion centred around pinpointing locations as it was acknowledged that the use of rural postcodes was not reliable.  The Area Highways and Transport Manager informed members that Teams now had digital tablets in their vehicles and mainly used “What3words” for a location guide.


The Chair requested that teams look at underlying causes on the infrastructure that were contributing to defects.


RESOLVED, that the report be noted.



Draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed).



The Manager of Flood & Development Management gave a presentation on the new draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, outlining the strategy origins and consultation.  Members noted that the Environment Agency had a 25 year plan and a National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England had been developed. 


Members noted that the new draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy refocussed and updated the action plan from that of the 2015 strategy.  The Strategy was influenced by the Cumbria Innovation Flood Resilience Project which was a £6.5 M project looking at working with land and communities in different ways, seeking the right way forward across Cumbria to reduce risk of flooding.  It was included in the County Council Plan 2018 to 2022.  The Surface Water Management Plan (2021 to 2022) had been updated to focus on Potential Vulnerable Areas (PVA’s) and sub catchment Areas of Concern (AoC.). 


The officer outlined potential vulnerable flooding areas in Cumbria, actions and progress taken and contents of the main strategy.  To conclude members noted the public consultation that had taken place.


The member for Walney South highlighted the serious flooding problems in Walney and asked that this be reflected on the potential vulnerable area map contained in the draft Strategy.  The Senior Manager agreed to review the potential vulnerable area map.  A discussion took place around green planting, tree planting policies and responsibility of this.


RESOLVED,that the report be noted.




To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).


This report informs members of new and updated items of significance to the Board (including relevant aspects of the Council’s Forward Plan and Key Decisions).


Additional documents:


Members received a report that provided the Board’s work programme, a recommendation on the Independent Planning Review and the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions. 


On 10 March 2022, it had been agreed that the Board be assured and satisfied that identified areas for improvement on the Independent Planning Review were firstly, included in the action plan and secondly, that progress was being made and embedded.   It was agreed that now the action plan had been established and progress reported, it would become business as usual.


The Chair requested a report on the handling of electronic waste and it was agreed that a briefing note be circulated to members on this, and if necessary, a full report be prepared for a future meeting.




(1)  the Board’s work programme, attached as appendix 1 to the report be noted;


(2)  the progress on the improvement action plan from the Independent Planning Review be noted;


(3)  the Forward Plan of Key Decisions for 1 June – 31 July 2022 be noted.




To note that the next meeting of the Board will be held on 15 September 2022 at 10 am at County Offices, Kendal.



It was noted that the next meeting of the Board will be held on 15 September 2022 at 10.00 am at County Offices, Kendal.