Our Safety Plan 2020-2024

Our Safety Plan 2020-2024 was developed in 2020 and sets out our priorities for protecting Staffordshire over that four-year period. This update to the plan is to ensure that the priorities we set back in 2020 are still relevant and meeting the needs of our communities. We are also checking that they are fit for purpose for the environment in which we now operate.

Updating our plan gives us the opportunity to assess our progress against a number of key pieces of work such as our response to the latest HMICFRS inspection report 2021/22. We have developed a tracker system to maintain oversight of our progress against the Areas of Improvement identified within that report and these priority areas are monitored regularly and scrutinised via our governance arrangements.

We are also adopting all of the new fire standards produced by the Fire Standards Board, which was in its infancy at the time of drafting the current safety plan, but has now developed considerably and published 16 standards. It is important to ensure that our policies, procedures and practices are aligned to the nationally developed standards demonstrating our commitment to deliver a professional, competent and trusted service.

Priorities: Prevention and early intervention

To prevent fires and respond promptly and effectively to fires and other emergencies we will:

  • Work together with our partners across the county to share information and create a more detailed understanding of the risks to our communities and identify the people and properties most at risk
  • Prioritise these risks to ensure our activities have the most positive impact on community safety
  • Develop targeted activities to make the most efficient use of our resources and minimise our impact on the environment
  • Work with partners to educate our communities and share goals to reduce duplication and inefficiencies in the public sector.

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Priorities: Protecting Staffordshire and its people

To protect our people, buildings, the environment and reduce local risk we will:

  • Continue to modify and develop our activities to embrace the changing needs of the county and use advances in technology and techniques to ensure our response to emergencies is efficient and effective
  • Contribute to building communities which are fit for the future – resilient, healthy and sustainable
  • Contribute to ensuring that buildings in Staffordshire are safe for residents and visitors for generations to come
  • Ensure that we have the capability to meet new and emerging risks from incidents that may involve flooding, wildfire, terrorism or supporting other emergency services.

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Plans and evidence to support this priority:

Priorities: Public confidence

To maintain public confidence and trust in the service we will:

  • Ensure plans and resources are in place to provide a flexible efficient and resilient response to emergency incidents
  • Consult with our communities and listen to our people when developing our plans and services
  • Provide evidence that our activities are based on a recognised need and are targeted where they are needed most
  • Adopt a transparent and easily understood approach to planning and reporting throughout the service.

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Plans and evidence to support this priority:

Priorities: Service reform

To ensure we are effective, efficient and able to transform the service to meet the challenges ahead we will:

  • Invest in our people by providing them with the right equipment, training and skills to keep them safe, encourage innovation and inspire our future leaders
  • Continue to strive to improve the services we provide
  • Be honest and open, encouraging people to be themselves and treat each other with kindness and respect
  • Promote a positive and supportive culture committed to improving the health, fitness and wellbeing of our people
  • Work with our communities and partners to improve the diversity of our workforce.

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Plans and evidence to support this priority:

Our funding

Our aim is to identify the financial challenges we may face and demonstrate how we intend to mitigate the impact of these and to manage our budgets to deliver services to our communities.

The Staffordshire Commissioner is ultimately responsible for the finances of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Our two main sources of funding are:

  • Settlement Funding Assessment from central government (this includes a share of local business rates)
  • Council Tax, collected on our behalf by the nine local authorities in Staffordshire.

The draft Local Government Finance Settlement for 2020/21 was received on 20 December 2019. The provisional settlement, issued by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, included protection for vital services by increasing core settlement resources, which includes Revenue Support Grant and business rates baseline funding levels, in line with inflation; and by continuing other key grants from 2019/20.

The Settlement Funding for the Staffordshire Commissioner Fire and Rescue Authority included an inflationary increase in Revenue Support Grant (RSG) set at 1.63%. This is the first increase for a number of years, with RSG reducing by £9.0m during the period 2012/13 to 2019/20 following a number of years of reduced funding across the public sector.

The decision by the Staffordshire Commissioner to increase the local council tax funding for the service by 1.99% was supported by the Police, Fire and Crime Panel at its meeting on 10 February 2020. A 1.99% increase in Council Tax is equivalent to an additional £1.51 per annum (three pence per week) and would increase Band D Council Tax for the Staffordshire Commissioner to £77.24 (circa £1.48 per week).

The decision will provide a small increase in funding which will help us to make further progress to deliver on our priorities for protecting people across Staffordshire. Over the last three years, due to good financial planning and the implementation of numerous changes across the organisation to transform our services and the way we operate, we have continued to deliver a first-class emergency response to fires and other emergencies. We are continually exploring our options for developing and improving the services we provide to ensure that we are as efficient and effective as possible and fit for the future.

Download the complete Safety Plan 2020-2024

Group of firefighters at the bottom of a ladder

Our Safety Plan outlines the priorities we will adopt over the four years and the approach we will take to ensure we do not compromise on our commitment to protecting our local communities, reducing risk and maintaining firefighter safety.

Our future

As we approach the conclusion of our Safety Plan 2020-2024, we are actively working on our next Community Risk Management Plan, which will guide our activities in the future. It is essential for us to involve our communities to help us shape these plans effectively.

These conversations with our communities, our people, partners, representative bodies and other stakeholders will help us to improve our understanding about your expectations and the services you require from us.

We will use the feedback from these conversations to help influence and develop our plans as we look to deal with future challenges and ensure that we deliver the best outcomes for our people and the communities of Staffordshire.

We encourage involvement from individuals, partners, and local community groups interested in contributing to the development of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s future.

If you would like to take part in the consultation on our new Community Risk Management Plan, or comment on this Statement of Assurance, you can email us at: consultation@staffordshirefire.gov.uk