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Posted by: John Brace | 6th June 2017

In response to my petition 2 1/2 years ago what changes are now proposed to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s constitution?

In response to my petition 2 1/2 years ago what changes are now proposed to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s constitution?

                              

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 25th May 2017 left Cllr Dave Hanratty (Chair) right Janet Henshaw (Clerk to the Authority)

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 25th May 2017 left Cllr Dave Hanratty (Chair) right Janet Henshaw (Clerk to the Authority)

A long time ago (December 2014) I started a petition about Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority in relation to their policy and constitution on the matter of filming public meetings.

The petition started off just being myself and Leonora, but also attracted 7 online signatures (total 9, 7 online and 2 in paper form).

The petition called for a change to MFRA’s constitution and filming policy and went on the agenda of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting on the 16th of December 2014.

Due to a visit by royalty the time of that meeting was changed from 1.00 pm to 11.00 am. Although I was invited to speak at the meeting I wasn’t told formally of the change of time. So I wasn’t present as I didn’t know the meeting was starting 2 hours earlier than planned.

The councillors at that meeting resolved:

“a) The petition be noted;

b) The Authority’s awareness of the protocol and procedure developed following the introduction of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, and its publication on the website for anyone wishing to attend or record proceedings be noted; and,

c) The Clerk be instructed to include any amendments to The Constitution, including revision of what is acceptable to the Authority as a petition, as part of the annual review, and provide with a covering report to the Annual Meeting 11th June 2015.”

Two years later, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have proposed to councillors a new draft constitution which includes a minimum number on petitions of five.

I might point out that (c) was agreed by councillors to prevent a petition of two signatures being on the agenda. It seems to have ignored the fact that their constitution requires 7 working days notice before the meeting, so in those 7 working days the number on a petition can change!

So in the end my petition is likely to have caused a constitutional change (2 and a half years later), just not to the bit of the constitution that myself and the petitioners requested changed!

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