CJM/JG 13 September 2010
To: All members of the South Yorkshire Police
Joint Branch Board.
A meeting of the Joint Branch Board was held on Thursday, 2 September 2010 at Castle Park, Doncaster, commencing at 1.00pm.
The minutes of that meeting are set out hereunder for your information and retention.
The meeting commenced with a presentation from DCI Mark Foster in relation to the Association Policy.
Z. Smith* J. Hart T. Mitchell
R. Sharman D. Hague N. Bowles
D.Laverick G. Pashley R. Pitt M. Hone* A. Hunt* C. Jackson
C. McCready S. Dixon A. Smith
T. Brookes A. Jarvis R. Usher
D. Chadwick* P. Kealey B. Huckstepp
W. Ventour D. Baines P. Shaw*
R. Mangham N. Vaughan D. Pickett
L. Batham S. Robinson* A. Jones
J. Nesbit* M. Gill* D. Pratt
N. Marsh D. Lock J. Brook*
The Chairman welcomed back Glenn Pashley to his first meeting following his recent period of absence. On behalf of himself and his wife, Glenn conveyed his gratitude to the Joint Branch Board members, Bob Pitt and Janet and Jane for the cards, flowers and support received during this difficult time.
The Chairman presented Dave Lock with a certificate for his recent attendance on a Federation Representatives Course.
2. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
Alan Jones requested an amendment to item number 13, paragraph 2, the words ‘If this occurs in South Yorkshire’ to be deleted.
The remainder of the minutes of the last meeting were proposed and seconded as a true record.
3. MATTERS ARISING
A) Cycle To Work Scheme
This has now been approved and awaits the mechanisms in place to progress further.
B) Federation Meetings 2011
The Secretary confirmed that the dates for 2011 have now been circulated to all members.
C) Federation Website
The Chairman outlined his recent experience with computer problems which are currently being investigated, this being the reason why certain JBB minutes have not yet been published on the website.
4. TREASURERS UPDATE
The Treasurer confirmed that no issues have arisen in relation to treasury matters since the last Joint Branch Board meeting. The funds continue to operate safely, there have been no unforeseen expenditure from any accounts and are currently making use of the short term investment offered by Unity Trust by the capital reserve gains at 0.5% above base rate.
The Chairman alerted the Board to the increase in Federation subscriptions which will take effect from 1 January 2011 and will rise from £16.20 to £19.92. He outlined certain justifications to be conveyed to any members who questioned the rise and requested referral to the trustees or the Federation office if further clarification is required. The Chairman also made mention that information in relation to tax relief on subscriptions has been included on the website.
5. TRUSTEES UPDATE
The Secretary confirmed that during the Constables meeting Lisa Batham was elected as the new Constables Trustee. Dave Laverick agreed to organise a meeting with all Trustees to take place before the next Joint Branch Board meeting.
6. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAD
As the previous Professional Development Lead for the Joint Branch Board, Mark Webster, has now retired, the Secretary confirmed that Lisa Batham has indicated interest in taking up this position. Members were requested to declare if there were any other interested parties and for the benefit of absent representatives, the Secretary will circulate details via e-mail in order to decipher if a ballot will need to take place.
Alan Jones reported that the next Professional Development meeting was scheduled for the end of September and considered it beneficial for a representative to attend until someone has been elected to this position. All members agreed for Lisa Batham to attend on this occasion.
7. TRIENNIAL ELECTIONS
The Secretary outlined the potential schedule for the Triennial Elections and for the benefit of the new members, the procedure in relation to representative applications. A questionnaire will also be included with the applications, which has been requested nationally and he encouraged members to complete these as required.
8. HILLSBOROUGH ARCHIVES
The Chairman summarised the content of a copy of a transcript from the last Hillsborough Archive Steering Group meeting which had been previously circulated to the Board. This included challenges in respect of the prospect of researchers being employed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel who are appointed to oversee the disclosure process and the role to be undertaken by these researchers and the possible consequences. The Chief Constable and ACC Holt have arranged a meeting with the Bishop of Liverpool, Chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, to discuss this further.
Bob Pitt confirmed that an expansion to the original legal advice from David Franey at Russell Jones & Walker Solicitors has been requested to consider whether a Judicial Review of the whole process would be advisable and the outcome of this advice will be discussed with the Force before any action is taken. The Board were then requested to forward any views for referral in writing.
9. COMPLAINTS AGAINST FEDERATION REPRESENTATIVES
Neil Marsh explained that this issue has been raised as a result of two members of the Constables Branch Board falling foul of professional standards, which came about as a result of a complaint from an IBB member. Both constables had received adverse PDJ entries and Neil Marsh expressed his concern that there appeared to be a disproportionate response when complaints were made by inspectors against constables. Neil Marsh linked the most recent events to the recent court case regarding the 2005 triennial election and his intense dissatisfaction at having had his integrity questioned by the suggestion that JBB members had lied about how they had voted. Neil Marsh stated that he would be leaving the meeting after this item.
The Chairman reminded all JBB members that our Standing Orders provided a means for complaints between JBB members to be heard and asked Neil Marsh to reconsider leaving the meeting, however Neil left.
In the absence of Neil Marsh who had proposed items 9 and 10 on the agenda the Chairman ruled that both items would be now be terminated on the grounds that they were not constructive to the meeting.
10. RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SEPARATE BRANCH BOARDS
See above agenda item.
11. EQUALITY UPDATE
In the absence of the Equality Leader, Zuleika Smith, the following information was provided:
Rachel Usher reported that she had not attended any recent equality meetings and therefore could not provide an update force wide or nationally. In terms of F.S.G, she outlined an issue she was trying to resolve, which was not essentially equality based but did affect a female officer.
She explained that applications were currently being invited for firearms officers and it had been brought to her attention that a policy was being applied which prevented officers from applying who carried Taser, due to the two year tenure. This had a net effect of reducing potential applicants by up to 50%. This was being challenged as unfair by a female officer from a particular district that was affected by this policy and also believed it was being applied disproportionally across the Force. This issue has now been referred to ACC Holt for reconsideration and a decision is imminent.
12. NATIONAL UPDATE
Alan Jones gave an update on the following:
- September 2010 pay rise has been instigated and a pay freeze for 2011 and 2012 is highly likely. Members’ attention was brought to the amendments in government taxation figures for 2011 which could potentially affect many of the Constables rank due to the reduction of the 40% tax band. National Insurance contributions have also been increased.
- Details of the governments’ 21st policing document were outlined, which included; the importance being placed on community engagement, the possibility of Elected Commissioners who will determine and set priorities for Chief Constables and the desire for greater collaboration (but not merges) between forces.
- Contents of a document submitted to the Home Office by Sir Hugh Orde on behalf of ACPO, causing a huge amount of concern and a strong response from Ian Rennie. Some key recommendations within this document were summarised and included; replacement of PNB with a pay review body, urgent review of the UPP procedure, pay and conditions in respect of public holidays, management of shifts, shift allowance and the possibility of redefining SPP and Competency payments. Due to the massive implications instigated by this document, the importance was stressed for the Federation to work as a team collectively both nationally and regionally in order to address these issues balanced against the background of police spending. Comprehensive spending review will be announced in October, therefore the amount to be received by South Yorkshire is expected later this year or in the new year.
- Following on from the above, the Chairman gave an overview of his recent discussion with the Chief Constable. This included a whole raft of issues for deliberation in light of the potential cut in police spending, such as; the possible requirement of workforce reduction even taking into account natural wastage, the possibility of employing Regulation A19 against the impact in relation to cessation of pension contributions and therefore the death in service benefit. He commented that Operation Diamond includes a capability study which consists of districts and departments being tasked with investigating the effect that a 10%, 20%, etc, cut in funding would have on resources. Could this result in the spectre of redundancies? A business case will be submitted containing all the above considerations. The Chief Constable also emphasised his desire for any ideas to be put forward to the Home Office suggestion hotline are submitted via the force, although the Chairman commented that via the Federation would be a more favourable option.
- A review into pay and conditions was announced at Conference by the Home Secretary and although confirmation is still awaited it appears the ex Chief Constable of Gloucestershire police, Tim Brain, will be fulfilling this role.
- A national review intoleadership and promotion etc, is due to be published by 1st December 2010. A review of the rank structure and ratios is also being supported by ACPO which could have major implications for the membership.
- A discussion took place in relation to the pensions review and the potential changes that could take place in the future and due to this fact the Chairman reported that Pensions Department are currently unable to supply pension forecasts to members.
- The NPIA will cease by spring 2012, therefore clarification will need to be sought from ACPO in relation to budgets to fund future police training and learning development etc.
13. HEALTH & SAFETY UPDATE
The Health & Safety Leader, Glenn Pashley summarised an issue now resurrected, which was originally raised in April following an RTC in a Ford Focus police vehicle. It came to light that this vehicle did not have a V pillar air bag and an investigation was instigated to determine if this was a ‘one-off’ and if the latest batch of vehicles now possess this additional side protection. A response to this query has been chased up and will be reported at the next meeting.
He confirmed that an update has also been requested from the Force Health & Safety Advisor, Joanne Sampson in relation to access rope training.
Alan Jones reported that ACPO are supporting efforts to avoid the negative impact of health and safety legislation. They are also initiating a central procurement programme for police vehicles to address all issues of concern.
Rachel Usher outlined health and safety issues experienced within FSG in relation to faults developed with their police vehicles which have now been withdrawn from the fleet, therefore reducing their current capability.
The Chairman conveyed his gratitude to Simon Dixon for his work undertaken in relation to the issue of training in Northern Ireland.
14. DISCIPLINE UPDATE
i) Neil Vaughan confirmed that he had been invited to speak on BBC radio Sheffield to provide the Federation’s viewpoint in relation to information that had been requested via the ‘Freedom of Information’ act and the Federation nationally. The BBC had requested disclosure of the number of complaints that police officers have attracted over a particular twelve month period. They were also specifically interested in the number of officers who have three or more complaints recorded against them during this time and the figure confirmed was 2043.
ii) Three officers have recently left due to resignation or dismissal. The discipline team are currently representing 143 officers at various stages of the disciplinary procedures.
iii) Neil reiterated the importance of individual reps approaching the appropriate authority at PSD, i.e. Martin Davison, at an early stage in an effort to negotiate and therefore influence the recommendation that PSD put before the Chairman of any meeting.
iv) There are presently ten members on the Federation Discipline Team, any representative interested in becoming discipline trained was requested to inform Neil Vaughan or Clive McCready.
v) The Chairman provided an update on current UAP and UPP cases. As these were few and far between, for mutual benefit members were requested to share information in relation to these issues in order to gain a better understanding.
vi) Lisa Batham reported that a number of meetings have been held during August in respect of the 2012 Olympics and Superintendent Liz Watson is the lead for South Yorkshire region. A whole array of issues are currently being examined including; the effect on roles and demands during this time, welfare, transport, annual leave, rest days, shift patterns, flexible working, part time working, inspectors pay/hours and training etc. Updates will be given as and when the investigations have concluded.
15. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Rachel Usher confirmed that a meeting has been scheduled for next week to progress the regional uniform.
Dave Baines asked whether it was thought beneficial for someone to attend the next JBB meeting to give an overview in respect of Operation Diamond. Members agreed to extend an invitation to Jason Harwin to conduct a presentation.
16. DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Joint Branch Board will be held at Castle Park, Doncaster and will take place on Thursday, 14 October 2010 commencing at 1.00pm.
Bob Pitt, Chairman Clive J McCready, Secretary< Back