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Posted by: John Brace | 9th June 2016

What happened while Cllr Denise Roberts was Chair of MFRA’s Audit Sub-Committee?

What happened while Cllr Denise Roberts was Chair of MFRA’s Audit Sub-Committee?

                                     

Cllr Denise Roberts (Chair, Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee) (27th November 2014)

Cllr Denise Roberts (Chair, MFRA (Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) Audit Sub-Committee at a previous meeting of the MFRA)

The author of this is the appellant in a First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) case involving Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority.

There have been serious corporate governance allegations raised about how MFRS (Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service) has been managed and led during the period when Wirral Council Councillor Denise Roberts has chaired the MFRA (Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) Audit Sub-Committee.

MFRS’s press office was approached to provide a press officer for today’s public meeting of its Audit Sub-Committee. However that request for a press officer was refused. A reply received from a senior manager who intervened in our request stated that a press officer is not able to attend this and indeed future public meetings due to “other responsibilities”.

Ultimately it is up to you dear reader to try and understand the reasons why such a decision would be taken.

Clearly Wirral Cllr Denise Roberts (Chair of MFRA’s Audit Sub-Committee) is not entirely to blame as reports to the Audit Sub-Committee she chairs (including to today’s meeting) have been either inaccurate or misleading (or indeed both at the same time) and indeed her time on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority comes to an end in a week.

Instead, Cllr Brian Kenny and Cllr Chris Meaden will replace Cllr Denise Roberts and former Labour Cllr Steve Niblock as two of Labour’s representatives from Wirral Council on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority. Both Conservative Cllr Lesley Rennie and Labour’s Cllr Jean Stapleton remain.

It remains to be seen whether a future Chair of the Audit Sub-Committee continues with Cllr Denise Roberts’ approach and what happens next.

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