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Posted by: John Brace | 8th August 2016

Why was Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Kieran Timmins (former Deputy Chief Executive/Treasurer and in charge of the Saughall Massie fire station plans in 2014 & 2015) paid £144,500 for “compensation for loss of office” when he was made redundant in 2015?

Why was Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Kieran Timmins (former Deputy Chief Executive/Treasurer and in charge of the Saughall Massie fire station plans in 2014 & 2015) paid £144,500 for “compensation for loss of office” when he was made redundant in 2015?

                                            

Kieran Timmins (former Deputy Chief Executive, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service) taken in 2014

Kieran Timmins (former Deputy Chief Executive, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service) taken in 2014

The author of this piece is an Appellant in a First-tier-Tribunal (Information Rights) case in which Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority is the Second Respondent.

Below are three invoices (for £3,000 each consisting of £2,500 + VAT so £9,000 in total) from a Todd and Ledson LLP to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for the Saughall Massie fire station project.

Invoice £3000 Todd and Ledson LLP Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 30th December 2015 Saughall Massie Pre Contract Professional fees

Invoice £3000 Todd and Ledson LLP Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 30th December 2015 Saughall Massie Pre Contract Professional fees

Invoice £3000 Todd and Ledson LLP Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 30th September 2015 Saughall Massie Pre Contract Professional fees

Invoice £3000 Todd and Ledson LLP Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 30th September 2015 Saughall Massie Pre Contract Professional fees

Invoice £3000 Todd and Ledson LLP Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 31st August 2015 Saughall Massie Pre Contract Professional fees

Invoice £3000 Todd and Ledson LLP Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 31st August 2015 Saughall Massie Pre Contract Professional fees

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (on behalf of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) have submitted two planning applications associated with this project.

The most recent dated 20th July 2016 is for a screening opinion which if I’m correct Wirral Council as Local Planning Authority have to make a decision on within 3 weeks of the application, this is SCR/16/00994.

The related planning application to the above submitted on the 15th July 2015 is APP/16/00985 which is described as, “A single storey two bay community fire station incorporating operational and welfare accommodation, offices and meeting space, external drill and training facilities and associated car-parking. | Land adjacent to SAUGHALL MASSIE ROAD, SAUGHALL MASSIE ”.

The land is currently owned by Wirral Council, who are constructing a Youth Zone on land next to Birkenhead Fire Station.

Below are two invoices to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service from their solicitors Weightmans LLP connected to that.

Invoice £660.00 Weightmans LLP Transfer of land at Birkenhead Fire Station to Wirral Council 28th September 2015 Clive Bleasedale

Invoice £660.00 Weightmans LLP Transfer of land at Birkenhead Fire Station to Wirral Council 28th September 2015 Clive Bleasedale

Invoice £697.20 Weightmans LLP Transfer of land at Birkenhead Fire Station to Wirral Council 26th October 2015 Clive Bleasedale

Invoice £697.20 Weightmans LLP Transfer of land at Birkenhead Fire Station to Wirral Council 26th October 2015 Clive Bleasedale

Although at one stage a “land swap” was suggested by former Deputy Chief Executive of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Kieran Timmins (that is a swap of the land held by Wirral Council for the land adjacent to Birkenhead Fire Station), Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service state that no such land swap with Wirral Council was agreed follow Mr Timmins’ proposal. In an event Mr Timmins left the employment of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in 2015 having been made redundant and he received £144,500 in redundancy payment in compensation (see note 30 to the accounts (Officers’ Remuneration) on page 66 of the 2015-16 accounts for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority).

The officer at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in charge of land matters following Mr. Timmins’ departure from the organisation in August 2015 is Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan.

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Responses

  1. How strange that not one of the 380+ commentors on the main application (16/00985), many of whom have serious concerns about the environmental impact of this proposal, have commented on this one?!

    Maybe it’s because WMBC’s Planning page states that there are no associated cases, so no-one knew?

    For those of us who do now know thanks to your post, repeated attempts to submit a comment, receiving an acknowledgment and these still not appearing in the current figure of zero comments, shows that there’s clearly a further problem.

    John, you should seriously think about competing in the next Olympics in Tokyo. It would probably be an easier task to win than trying to negotiate the hurdles to transparency, honesty and openness put up by Wirral.

    • My dealings with the public sector at somewhat different levels to that of the average member of the public.

      However basically the message I keep getting back at the moment can be summarised as we’re all away on holiday for a week, in the meantime junior people are acting up to our posts while we’re away…

      Back to the request for a screening opinion, in my view it’s not fair to state in their request for a screening opinion that it isn’t part of a linked development.

      Of course it is, because if they get planning permission and build a fire station in Saughall Massie they’re hardly likely to keep Upton fire station going are they?

      Leaving this somewhat glaring omission aside, let’s move to how this affects the Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 arguments.

      It’s clear they’ve deliberately made sure it’s less than 0.5 hectares (it’s 0.495 hectares for a reason) in part because of the car park, however if you read Schedule 3 you’ll find that when Wirral Council reach a decision over a screening opinion, that they have to take into account,

      “2. The environmental sensitivity of geographical areas likely to be affected by development must be considered, having regard, in particular, to—

      (b) the relative abundance, quality and regenerative capacity of natural resources in the area;

      (c) the absorption capacity of the natural environment, paying particular attention to the following areas—

      (i) wetlands;

      ….

      (vii) densely populated areas;

      and

      (viii) landscapes of historical, cultural … significance.

      In other words the people making the planning application don’t want the expense of going to the trouble of being required to do a Environmental Impact Assessment? (hopefully I’ve got that right) for this planning application so they want Wirral Council to agree that it’s not necessary.

      You may also be interested Kim in this press release that Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have issued and today’s article in the Wirral Globe (in part based on the press release).

  2. The land is owned by Wirral Council, that mean its owned by us the tax payer?

    • The land at Saughall Massie is owned by Wirral Council yes. Any land transfer to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority is put on hold while the planning permission issue is decided.

      Agreement was given by the politicians in September 2015 to transfer the land adjacent to Birkenhead Fire Station to Wirral Council. The invoices about the legal advice to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service about the land transfer are dated 28/9/15 and 26/10/15. I don’t however know if the land has or hasn’t been transferred yet as I’d have to check Wirral Council’s asset register.


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